ON September 30, Delta City Hall will be closed in observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is to honour the memories of all those whose lives were lost and impacted as a result of residential schools as well as their families and their communities.
On June 3, the Government of Canada passed legislation to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday for federally regulated workers in public and private sectors. In 2021, the City will be observing this day as though it were a statutory holiday as part of its ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation. The City is focusing on education and awareness, and will be providing training to staff to encourage dialogue and learning on residential schools and their harmful legacy.
Traditionally, the City of Delta has commemorated September 30 of each year as Orange Shirt Day. To honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Delta City Hall and the North Delta Centre for the Arts will be lit up in orange September 27 to October 1 and special orange flags will also be flown at City Hall and North Delta Recreation Centre. Individuals and families are welcome to visit these city spaces to honour lives lost, survivors, families, and communities. The City encourages everyone to take time to reflect on the history and legacy of Residential Schools.
Delta Mayor George V. Harvie said on Thursday: “The City is committed to strengthening our relationship and bond with Indigenous Peoples and governments, including the meaningful relationship with our neighbours, scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), as we continue to learn, engage, and walk the path of reconciliation. Listening is critical to understanding, especially from Indigenous people, to help us in our ongoing journey to learn and educate ourselves about truth and reconciliation.”
All three Delta Libraries will also be closed on September 30. For those interested in learning more in advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Fraser Valley Regional Library has reading lists available. Click here to view. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation also has educational resources available at https://nctr.ca/.
Staff will report back to Delta Council regarding future observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.