Statutory holiday honors Indigenous victims, survivors of country’s residential school system

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / Staff Writer

The NHL and its Canadian teams recognized National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday.

The day, which is a federal statutory holiday in Canada that was created June 23, honors the children who were lost to and the survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. The residential school system was a network of boarding schools for Indigenous peoples that were in operation with mandatory attendance from 1894 to 1947. Funded by the Canadian government and run by Christian churches, the schools were intended to isolate Indigenous children from their culture and assimilate them. The last federally-funded residential school closed in 1997. The number of Indigenous children that are estimated to have died at these schools is upwards of 30,000, mainly from tuberculosis.

The NHL released a statement recognizing the day. The National Hockey League Foundation is partnering with the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation and making a $15,000 donation to support small, community-based projects targeting Indigenous communities, survivor organizations, and memorial funds across Canada.