10/31/2017 17:37 EDT | Updated 11/01/2017 03:21 EDT

Saskatchewan MP wants June 21 to be a national holiday; bill has had 1st reading

LA LOCHE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan MP's private member's bill on making National Indigenous Peoples Day a holiday is moving forward.

Georgina Jolibois represents the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River.

Her bill proposes making June 21 — which is National Indigenous Peoples Day — a statutory holiday, which means it would be celebrated nationwide and would be a paid day off for employees.

The bill had first reading in the House of Commons on Oct. 24.

Jolibois, who is an NDP MP, hopes her bill will be passed in the spirit of reconciliation.

The bill is scheduled for second reading and debate in the House on Dec. 8.

"The prime minister says that the most important relationship to him is the relationship with the First Nations, Metis and Indigenous peoples across Canada. And certainly when the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) calls for it as a national holiday, I'm pretty optimistic that it stands a good chance," said Jolibois.

"There is an excellent opportunity here to think about what it really means when we talk about nation-to-nation."