Statement by FCM President Clark Somerville on Orange Shirt Day (30/09/2016)
Today municipal leaders join Canadians across the country in the process of reconciliation with indigenous communities by commemorating Orange Shirt Day.
Orange Shirt Day is a day to remember the thousands of children who were taken from their homes and placed in residential schools. That experience remains one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history-with a legacy that still haunts us. Every Canadian has a role to play in reconciliation, which is why honouring the survivors, their families and their communities with a day that publically commemorates the history of residential schools is so important.
At FCM's Annual Conference in June, municipal leaders voted overwhelmingly to call on the federal government to officially declare September 30 as Orange Shirt Day. That resolution was brought forward in support of recommendation #80 of the Truth and Reconciliation report-which calls for a national day to honour the legacy of residential schools. FCM continues to call on the federal government to take this important step toward national reconciliation.
I am proud of the role Canada's municipalities continue to play in this important healing process. Only by shining a light on our dark past can we ensure a brighter future for all children.
FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.