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The Queen releases poignant message to commemorate important Canadian holiday

The day is marked on 30 September

Matthew Moore

The Queen has sent a heartfelt message to the people of Canada as they marked the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday.

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The day is now a public holiday in the country, it was originally just an observance when it was created in 2013. The day was designed to educate people about the effects that the Canadian-Indian residential school system had on Indigenous populations, which is recognised as a cultural genocide. The schools were in place for over a century and were designed to assimilate Indigenous children away from their culture and into a mainstream Canadian one.

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Those who observe the event are encouraged to wear an orange shirt, and the day is often known as Orange Shirt Day.

In her message, Her Majesty wrote: "I join with all Canadians on this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to reflect on the painful history that Indigenous peoples endured in residential schools in Canada, and on the work that remains to heal and to continue to build an inclusive society."

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She personally signed off "Elizabeth R," and the message was also repeated in French.

Royal fans thanked the monarch for her beautiful words, as one said: "Thank you your Majesty, this is an important day for Canadians to reflect upon. Every child matters."

The Queen released this heartfelt message

A second wrote: "Thank you for this important message and your support," while a third added: "Words well spoken as all Canadians reflect on the painful history and atrocities of man, the need for growth and change is apparent."

Many others showed their support for the message by posting strings of orange heart emojis.

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This year marks the first time that the day is observed as a public holiday, and the first with its news name. A bill was designed in 2020 proposing that the day become a public holiday, and it was fast-tracked through the Canadian parliament after the discovery of 215 children's bodies at an unmarked cemetery.

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