An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
TOMORROW’S A HOLIDAY and some people aren’t at all sure what it’s about.
The federal government has declared Sept. 30 as a new stat — National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s also Orange Shirt Day.
So let’s talk about it. There’s lots going on in the way of virtual events and it’s a good day to reflect on how we think about reconciliation and what we as individuals can do to help achieve it.
Not everybody, though, thinks it’s a good idea. Even indigenous leaders are divided over whether the new holiday is worthwhile. Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel, for example, thinks there’s nothing to celebrate because “no significant changes have been made” toward reconciliation.
Tk’emlups te Secwepmc Chief Rosanne Casimir, on the other hand, sees it as an opportunity to focus attention on the missing children of residential schools. The issue of unrecorded deaths at those schools, and the circumstances surrounding them, began in Kamloops and was quickly followed by discoveries of gravesites at other residential schools.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.