Pictured is Potlotek First Nation’s monument to its residential school survivors, which was unveiled in 2014. It bears the names of 24 survivors of the Shubenacadie Residential School, which operated from 1929 to 1967.

ARICHAT: The municipality made preparations ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on Sept. 27, councillors passed three recommendations from its committee of the whole session.

As a result of the approved motions, Sept. 30 will be recognized as Truth and Reconciliation Day in the Municipality of the County of Richmond.

“I definitely wouldn’t call it a holiday, but it is going to be a day where municipal staff are asked to stay home, just to provide them with some time to reflect on the Truth and Reconciliation situation in Canada,” Warden Amanda Mombourquette told The Reporter. “We agreed to do that for this year, through a resolution of council. We’ve referred it to our policy committee so that it becomes permanent.”

To accommodate that date, the Hours of Operation Policy will be referred to the municipality’s Bylaw and Policy Committee for an amendment. Once it passes the committee stage, the policy will then return to the municipal table for final approval. The warden said, once approved, all municipal buildings and facilities will be closed on Sept. 30.

“The Hours of Operation Policy contains basically a list of our (statutory) days off for staff, and we want to make sure the Day for Truth and Reconciliation is added in there so that we don’t have to do the resolution every year. It becomes part of our operations,” Mombourquette explained.

The final motion approved Monday night is that the municipality will host a flag raising ceremony, sometime next month, to honour National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Before the date is finalized, the warden added the municipality wants to speak with representatives of Potlotek First Nation, who worked with the Mawita’nej Multicultural Festival Group.

“That’s like a collaboration between Potlotek, and Isle Madame, and St. Peter’s. There’s a bunch of us from different communities that are on that committee,” Mombourquette said. “We thought it would be really nice to try to get it done before the end of September but the timeline is just too tight. So my commitment is try to reach out to Chief Wilbert Marshall to see if we could have something appropriate that would work for them during the month of October because it is Treaty Month.”