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September 30th, 2019

Statement from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Orange Shirt Day

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, issued the following statement:

New Democrats across Canada are marking Orange Shirt Day today, to recognize the horrors of the residential school system, to honour the Survivors, and to affirm the dignity of every child in Canada.

Today we learned the names of 2,800 children and teens who died in residential schools. We also know there are at least 1,600 children who died that haven’t been identified. All of them had families, cultures, and names. All of them were loved.

Orange Shirt Day is an important moment for everyone in Canada, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to learn and reflect on the history and legacy of residential schools, and to commit to a better future through reconciliation.

Earlier this year, NDP MP Georgina Jolibois succeeded in passing a private members bill through the House of Commons to make September 30 a statutory holiday every year to mark Orange Shirt Day. Sadly, it was defeated at the hands of Conservatives in the Senate.

At the federal level, we can and must do better. The federal government must immediately comply with the multiple rulings of the Canada Human Rights Tribunal to end its discrimination against First Nations children.

For New Democrats, reconciliation must and will remain at the heart of our work.