Policy on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Final Approval Body: Senate
Senior Administrative Position with Responsibility: Principal and Provost
Date Initially Approved: April 18, 2023


Academic Activities – Activities that include classes, labs, tests, exams, assignment due dates. 

Purpose of Policy

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation “recognizes the tragic legacy of residential schools, the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of these institutions.” 1 The Day is marked by observances to bring remembrance, mourning, and deeper understanding of this tragic legacy. These observances are facilitated by the cancellation of all academic activities and classes, so that members of the Queen's community may engage in learning about, reflecting on, and acting against the factors that brought about the residential school system and continued oppression of Indigenous life, experience, and culture.

In its role as educator, Queen’s University can make important contributions to the reflections and observances that are part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The legacy of the residential school systems is an almost total eradication of the history, worldview, languages, and connection to the land of Indigenous peoples. Education is a significant part of understanding the forces which brought about these tragic losses and an instrument for recovery of this history and the work of reconciliation that must take place. The provision of dedicated time for students, faculty, and staff to learn about and to recover this past and to think and act towards a future that does not oppress Indigenous heritage is an essential part of the educational mission of the University. This dedicated time is not only a sign of institutional commitment but also important as a commitment to the provision of time for self-education. One of the highest goals of the University is to provide a learning context that leads to a positive transformation of the individual and time for personal reflection is essential to that goal.

1 "Understanding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation"

Policy Statement

All academic activity shall be suspended to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

When the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation falls on a weekend, academic activities are suspended on the day assigned by the Federal Government.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation shall be designated within the university sessional dates as a non-teaching day, while still providing for a minimum of 60 teaching days in the fall term for faculties and schools.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all Academic Activities within every Faculty and School at the University.

Academic activities, such as clinical placements, field work and work placements, that are scheduled in coordination with external agencies or organizations may be excluded from this policy.


Central events, activities and observances will be coordinated by the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Working Group.

Each Faculty and School is encouraged to support learning, reflection and observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning will offer pedagogical supports for Indigenization-related educational activities during this Day.

The Office of Indigenous Initiatives will advise and guide those organizing activities in observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines: None
Responsible Officer: Principal and Provost
Contact: Principal's Office
Date for Next Review: 2025