For immediate release
September 29, 2022
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is issuing this statement in response to a vote by the Government of Manitoba today that demonstrated it will not support September 30 being declared as a statutory holiday in Manitoba. MKO encourages the Province of Manitoba to work to recognize September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as a statutory holiday across the province.
Grand Chief Garrison Settee states:
“I have been informed that this morning, the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) who belong to the Progressive Conservative party, all voted against a private member’s bill that would see September 30 recognized as a statutory holiday in the Province of Manitoba.
I have also been informed that many of these members wore orange shirts while they voted against recognizing September 30 as a statutory holiday.
On behalf of MKO, I express our disappointment with the MLAs who voted against September 30 being recognized as a statutory holiday in the Province of Manitoba. I have not heard from them on this issue in recent months, so I look forward to a clear explanation on why they have voted against this bill.
MKO continues to work in good faith with the Government of Manitoba. My office has met with them once in March 2022, to discuss suitable ways for recognizing September 30 as a day to honour Survivors and the children who did not make it home from residential school. The Premier and Ministers with whom I have worked have made it clear they wish to commit to a journey of reconciliation. We will be watching to see whether their words match with their actions.
September 30 is a difficult day for many of us. Declaring this as a holiday supports Survivors and their descendants to spend the day in reflection, remembering the classmates and family members they have lost due to the genocidal system of residential schools.
I encourage the Government of Manitoba to do all it can to honour First Nations Survivors as our citizens continue to grapple with the painful legacy of residential schools, including introducing a government-sponsored bill recognizing September 30 as a statutory holiday at the next session of the Legislative Assembly. I also want to acknowledge all the allies who are standing in solidarity with First Nations as we continue to heal from the intergenerational trauma brought on by the residential school system.”
For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Email: [email protected]