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Saturday marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

By Brad Perry Sep 29, 2023 | 12:10 PM

Saturday marks the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation across Canada.

The federal statutory holiday was one of 94 Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It called for a holiday to “ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

The day is a statutory holiday for all federal government workers and federally-regulated industries.

Because the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, it will officially be observed on Monday.

Canada Post will be closed on Monday and there will be no mail delivery. Service Canada will also be closed.

Banks across the country will be closed on both Saturday and Monday.

In New Brunswick, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is not a provincial statutory holiday.

Government offices and schools will be closed on Monday. Service New Brunswick will be closed on both Saturday and Monday.

NB Liquor and Cannabis NB corporate stores will remain open but will operate on reduced hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Municipal government offices will be closed on Monday. Saint John Transit, Codiac Transpo and Fredericton Transit will operate as usual throughout the weekend.

Malls and most stores will remain open as the holiday is optional for private-sector businesses.


Events are taking place in a number of communities on Saturday to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

In Saint John, an Indigenous-led Healing Walk will take place at the Great Canadian Trail in Rockwood Park starting at 1 p.m. Elder Lisa Dutcher and Drum Group Wolastoqewi Apijik will lead the walk.

Saint Andrews is holding a smudging and solemn walk at Indian Point Park from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

In Sussex, an event will take place at the Sussex Rotary Amphitheatre beginning at 11 a.m.

Moncton will hold a commemorative ceremony at the City Hall Plaza beginning at 1 p.m. Hubert Francis from Elsipogtog First Nation will share a blessing, traditional teachings and a few traditional songs to honour the children who never returned home, the survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.

Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health support from the Government of Canada. Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to the Hope for Wellness Help Line 24/7 for counselling and crisis intervention.