Union calls on Queen’s University to make National Truth and Reconciliation Day (September 30) an official holiday

Last week, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) DCL 901 launched a petition calling on Queen’s University to make September 30, the National Truth and Reconciliation Day, an official holiday. The Government of Canada announced September 30 as a legal federal holiday that was previously known as Orange Shirt Day.

“This is an important issue as it is the 80th call to action established by the Truth and Reconciliation Committee as part of addressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the reconciliation process,” said Astrid Hobill. , president of the Public Services Alliance. of Canada Local 901 (PSAC Local 901)

The Government of Ontario did not recognize this day at the provincial level, however, PSAC hopes that Queen’s University will recognize the importance of this day and build community with indigenous nations and promote the goals of reconciliation.

“We’re trying to make sure it reaches more people by building solidarity with other unions and different groups on campus and the Kingston community at large, asking them to share it and have others join in,” Hobill said.

Queen’s University has the ability to mark its own legal holidays. Other colleges that have canceled all classes for National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2021 include Simon Fraser University, the University of Calgary, and the University of Winnipeg. Queen’s would be one of the leaders to follow the same course of action if a petition is approved.

If a legal holiday is marked, September 30 would give staff, students and faculty the time to observe the events and have a day that focuses on a day to commemorate and reflect on the horrible legacy left by residential schools and also serve as a day to uplift and honor survivors.

“Queen’s, an institution in the territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee people, which has perpetuated colonial violence and erasure and where it has recently continued to be the site of hatred and vandalism towards indigenous communities, the recognition of this day would be a small step. in addressing the damage that this institution has perpetuated. This would be a concrete commitment from the school to address this legacy, ”said Hobill.

The PSAC represents 2,000 teaching assistants, teaching fellows, research assistants and postdoctoral fellows at Queen’s University. So far, 200 members have signed the petition and the goal is to reach 400.

“With the return to campus and adjusting to everything with COVID, a lot is happening and we have had a bit more difficulty reaching college students so far, however now we will be collaborating with the AMS Commissioner of Social Affairs to communicate it to the community at large, “Hobill said.


Leave a Comment