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Manitoba recognizes Orange Shirt Day as stat holiday talks continue

The Manitoba government plans to recognize National Truth and Reconciliation Day for a second year, while talks continue to make it an official legal holiday.

The province says in a new release that non-essential government departments and offices will close on September 30, also known as Orange Shirt Day.

Schools in the province are also closed that day.

The government encourages all recognized early childhood education and care facilities to remain open as essential services to support families.

Labor Minister Reg Helwer says no legislation has yet been introduced to make this day an official legal holiday in the province as consultations with indigenous leaders, residential school survivors and other stakeholders continue.

The federal government made the day a legal holiday last year for its employees and federally regulated workplaces.

READ MORE: Manitoba Prime Minister Says Orange Shirt Day Could Become a Legal Holiday

The province says it has consulted with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the head and council of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, the Manitoba Inuit Association, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Manitoba Treaty Commission.

“The government of Manitoba is committed to promoting truth and reconciliation. The day is a time to tell the truth and learn to move us into action to build a more inclusive and brighter future for all,” Helwer said in a release Thursday.

In the spring, an engagement session was held with residential school survivors.

The province’s Labor Management Review Committee was tasked with making recommendations for the recognition of September 30 as a legal holiday, the press release said.

Orange Shirt Day was founded in honor of Phyllis Webstad, whose clothing gift was taken from her grandmother on her first day at a residential school.

The province says flags on all provincial government buildings will be flown at half-mast that day.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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