NDP’s Bill Passes – National Truth and Reconciliation Day Becomes Statutory Holiday in the Yukon

Whitehorse — Today, the Yukon NDP Bill to make National Truth and Reconciliation Day a territorial statutory holiday was adopted in the House with unanimous consent. 

MLA Annie Blake spoke about the importance of this Bill this afternoon, sharing, “On September 30th this year, at the Choutla Residential school site in Carcross Tagish First Nation territory, I reflected on my own position in the legacy of residential schools: as a Vuntut Gwitchin citizen, and the daughter of a residential school survivor, I feel the weight of this legacy in all of the work that I do and in my daily life as I raise my own children and connect with many youth across the territory.”

The Bill will make September 30th a statutory holiday in the Yukon, allowing everyone to reflect on our shared history of colonisation and residential schools. 

As the preamble of the bill states, every community in the Yukon has been directly impacted by the legacy of residential schools. 

“We as Indigenous people are still bearing the consequences of residential schools. Today, every community in the Yukon has and continues to be directly impacted by this system,” said Blake. “I’ve heard stories of entire villages that fell silent once the residential school system took the children away. There were no children to run, laugh, and play. There were no children to learn knowledge passed down from our elders.”

This Bill also formally recognises genocide upon Indigenous people — a first in the Yukon’s history. 

“The federal government legislated this genocide through all of the systems they created and forced onto us. My own community, the Dagoo Gwitch’in have ceased to exist as a recognized group of people because of this genocide, yet many of us are still here.” Blake added. 

Mahsi Choo to all members of the Legislative Assembly for voting unanimously to support this Bill.

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