Karla MacFarlane speaks in this file photo. (Healey photo)

HALIFAX: The following is a statement from Karla MacFarlane, Minister of L’nu Affairs.

September 26-30 is Truth and Reconciliation Week in Canada, a time to reflect on the legacy of residential schools and honour residential school survivors, their families and communities.

The week concludes on Friday, September 30, which is Truth and Reconciliation Day in Nova Scotia. Provincial government offices, public schools and regulated child care will be closed.

The government has been discussing with Mi’kmaw leaders and communities, as well as businesses and organizations throughout the province, how to best honour this day in the future. Currently, Truth and Reconciliation Day is not a paid general holiday under Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Code, nor a retail closing day.

In 2021, Nova Scotia recognized September 30 as Truth and Reconciliation Day for the first time. The federal government passed legislation that year to create the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, which public schools and others will recognize on Thursday, September 29. The day promotes awareness of residential schools and education about the importance of honouring survivors, their families and communities.

Through treaty education partners, the Province supports and funds online learning for teachers and students across the country, offered by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

I encourage all Nova Scotians to take time this week to listen and learn about our shared history. Attend an event in your area and wear orange on Thursday and Friday. Explore Indigenous literature written by First Nations, Inuit and Métis people or gain knowledge by watching an Indigenous film.

Taking an active role this week and acknowledging the legacy of residential schools is a vital step on our collective journey of healing. As we share, listen and learn from one another, we will continue to strengthen our communities and build a stronger province that is more inclusive and equitable.

Mawkina’masultinej (Maw-ginah-mahsul-dee-nedge); let’s learn together.

  • Karla MacFarlane.