Should the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation be a day off school?

Published 2021-09-27 02:55

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On Thursday, Sept. 30, Canada will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Some Canadian kids will get the day off school, but not all.

Which is the right approach?

The backstory

This year, for the first time, Canadians will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30. The day was previously honoured by many kids under a different name: Orange Shirt Day.

When the national day was made official in June, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the point is to create a chance for Canadians to learn about residential schools and commemorate the survivors, their families and their communities.

For more than 150 years, Indigenous children were forced to attend residential schools across the country. Many faced violence and were stripped of their culture.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday, which means that federal workers — those who work for Canada Post, the CBC or Via Rail, for example — get the day off.

This is different from holidays like Canada Day and Labour Day, where all Canadians typically have the day off.

What does this mean for kids?

Some provinces and territories, like Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Nunavut, have decided to give kids the day off school on Sept. 30.

But schools will be open in places like Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick.

Some Indigenous leaders have said they’re disappointed that all Canadians don’t have the day off to learn and reflect on this part of Canadian history.

Others say kids might have a better learning experience if they’re in schools that day.

So, what do you think?

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So, why or why not?

We are no longer accepting responses for the question: Should the National Day of Truth and Reconcilation be a day off school?

The selected responses will be posted on Monday, Oct. 4. 

Last week’s answers

Each week, we showcase some of the answers submitted by kids from across Canada.

Click here to see a few of the many great answers we received to last week’s question: Should beauty filters be banned from social media?

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Looking for support?

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. The 24-hour national crisis line is: 1-866-925-4419.

Kids can also call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.