The University of Lethbridge will observe the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30.
On June 3, 2021, the federal government passed legislation that designates September 30 of each year as a public holiday under the Canada Labour Code. The University’s decision to observe this new holiday, although not required by law, is consistent with the University’s commitment to Indigenization, and specifically the Truth and Reconciliation process.
“This University holiday is to honour survivors of residential schools, their families and communities,” says Mike Mahon, U of L president and vice-chancellor. “The U of L will commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools on Sept. 30 and do its part to ensure they remain part of the reconciliation process going forward.”
Dr. Leroy Little Bear (BASc (BA) ’72, DASc ’04), special advisor to the president and distinguished Niitsitapi scholar, says observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important step on the path to reconciliation.
“I am pleased the University of Lethbridge is honouring this day,” he says. “My hope is that all members of our University community, and the larger community, take time to reflect on the trauma caused by residential schools and how we can collectively heal together.”
In addition to committing to a day of reflection for the University community, the U of L, in collaboration with Indigenous community members, is planning a number of events during the week of Sept. 27 to allow members of our campus community time and space to reflect on the tragic legacy of residential schools.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. It coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which was established to honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools.
This news release can be found online at National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Caroline Zentner, public affairs adviser
University of Lethbridge