Indigenous community reacts to Manitoba’s quick recognition of Queen’s death while waiting for NDTR

Members of the Indigenous community react, as Manitoba’s premier recognizes the Queen’s death as a day of mourning, but has been quiet about plans for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Alex Karpa reports.

By Alex Karpa

In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the Manitoba government announced that all provincial non-essential service workers will have Monday, September 19th off to mourn her passing. But members of the Indigenous community feel disrespected by this.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Stefanson was quoted saying, “I encourage all Manitobans to take a moment to reflect on Her late Majesty’s special relationship with our province and her countless contributions to our country and the entire Commonwealth.”

However, the same recognition from the provincial government has not been heard for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which is upcoming on September 30th as, at the end of August, the province said this year, there will be no statutory holiday for anyone.

“How can you manage a day off with the Queen’s mourning in a week, why couldn’t you do the same for September 30 to honour us survivors and honour a chance for other Manitobans to get to know us, the survivors,” said Vivian Ketchum, Residential School Survivor. “I couldn’t believe that happened.

“I feel hurt. Genuinely, I feel hurt. ”


Katherine Legrange, the director of the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada says it’s plain and simple. The provincial government in Manitoba at this time does not, “prioritize First Nation and Indigenous issues.” Legrange worries the Queen’s death will overshadow September 30th.

“The resources they are putting into the ceremony and what not is insulting that the province has not committed the same resources to the day of observance for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation so that is problematic,” said Legrange.

“It’s quite a slap in the face for survivors and certainly it’s apparent that their priorities are not with Indigenous people as we near the day for truth and reconciliation in Manitoba.”

Kyle Mason, Reconciliation Consultant & Speaker says it’s frustrating that it’s taking so long for the province to provide any actions for September 30th… and with the day quickly approaching, Mason is encouraging Manitobans not to use it as another day off.

“Use it as a time to engage yourself, your family, your kids, your grandkids about what this day is. What is important? Why is it important for today and why is it important going forward?” said Mason.

Ketchum is extremely frustrated with the lack of recognition she says survivors get in Canada. She says the actions or lack thereof by Stefanson, and the provincial government speaks volumes.

“She refuses to acknowledge us. She refuses to acknowledge our personal history. She refuses to acknowledge Canada’s history of residential schools and our tragic history.”

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