Southwestern Ontario credit union to begin observing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Libro Credit Union. (File photo by Adelle Loiselle, Blackburn News)

The largest credit union in southwestern Ontario has committed to observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation annually at all of its branches.

Libro Credit Union announced on Thursday it will close its branches for the day each September 30 to recognize Indigenous culture and history and honour residential school survivors.

“It’s important to create space for learning and reflection to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools, which remains a vital component of the reconciliation process,” Brian Aalbers, Libro’s executive vice president of people and culture, said in a statement. “At Libro, we take responsibility to listen and learn, from within our own staff and beyond, and carry that with us as we work to better our own efforts in truth and reconciliation.”

While the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is not a provincial statutory holiday, Aalbers said the decision to recognize it is part of Libro’s growing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The credit union’s contact centre will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 30 to support its customers.

In addition to the annual one-day branch closure, Libro will offer Indigenous culture and history learning and development programming to its more than 700 staffers and board members. It will also be sharing resources over the coming weeks through its social media channels.

In June, the federal government passed legislation to make September 30 a statutory holiday in observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. As such, all federally regulated workplaces will be closed. The national holiday was created in response to the 80th call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. The date was selected to coincide with Orange Shirt Day.