In June, the federal government passed legislation to mark Thursday, Sept. 30, as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
To observe this day of reflection, Memorial University will be closed; classes will be cancelled and university employees who are normally entitled to provincial and federal holidays will receive this day off.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation responds to one of the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls for a day to “honour Survivors, their families and communities and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
In 2021, Memorial University released its Strategic Framework for Indigenization, developed in partnership with the Indigenous Peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The framework sets out four strategic priorities: leadership and partnership; teaching and learning; research; and student success.
Memorial is now creating an action plan that will bring the framework’s recommendations to life.
Commitment to reconciliation
Observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is one way Memorial is demonstrating its commitment to the process of reconciliation.
Sept. 30 coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which began in 2013 to honour Indigenous children forced to leave their families to attend residential schools.
The orange shirt symbolizes the experiences and abuse suffered by children at residential schools.
The university will recognize Orange Shirt Day on the St. John’s, Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses.
The Office of the Registrar will communicate any changes to the academic calendar.