From Our Schools...
In Seven Oaks School Division we asked some of our schools the message they are sharing with their students and families for Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, here's what they had to say:
September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation across Canada. We urge our O.V. Jewitt staff, students, and their families to spend this day continuing to learn about the intergenerational harm residential schools caused to Indigenous Families and Communities and to find ways to move forward with the TRC's Calls to Action. Reach out, connect, and make change. “We have described for you a mountain. We have shown you the path to the top. We call upon you to do the climbing," the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair.
At Maples Met School, we are deeply committed to doing our part as members of the broader Canadian community, to reflect on the mistakes of the past, the ongoing inequities in the present, and the meaningful action we can take to ensure that our society is one founded on respect, compassion, truthful understanding of our history, and a commitment to justice for all people. We hope you will take time this September 30th to reflect on your role in the journey towards truth and reconciliation.
Our commitment at École Constable Edward Finney School is to involve students in rich and meaningful learning activities designed to teach them about the tragic history of residential schools, to reflect on what we can do to create bridges with each other for reconciliation, and to enable them to actively participate in opportunities to celebrate the richness of Indigenous culture. We encourage families to take time on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th to follow up with reflection, conversation and activities to reinforce this learning at home. Recommended resources will be shared with our school community.
Collège Garden City Collegiate
September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We encourage our Garden City students, staff, and community members to spend time on this day reading the TRC's Calls to Action to better understand each of our roles in actively repairing and rebuilding the intergenerational harms caused by residential schools to Indigenous families and communities.
Seven Oaks Met School
At the Seven Oaks Met School, we are very proud to be on Treaty One Territory so the ongoing discovery of unmarked graves of the children who were forced to attend government mandated residential schools has left us reeling. We are in mourning for those children who never made it home to their families. We feel shame and anger for the complicit role our government, and specifically our institution of education, played in this policy of forced assimilation. On Orange Shirt Day, we will wear orange to be reminded of our role as educators in working towards meaningful Truth & Reconciliation and we will continue the ongoing work with our students to decolonize education at our school. We hope these awful discoveries have also been a wake-up call for all Canadians and we encourage you, on September 30th, to also wear orange, take some time out of your day to learn more about this awful history, and to reflect, honor, and remember the children who were forcibly taken from their families in an attempt at cultural genocide. We invite our school community to take action to help repair the damaged relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by joining us, on Orange Shirt Day, at the Healing Walk, starting at the Canadian Human Rights Museum at 11am, and ending at St John’s Park for the Welcome Home Pow Wow at 1pm. #everychildmatters
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day to reflect on the truths of Canada's past and the ongoing injustices against many Indigenous peoples. We ask everyone to consider your place in this story and the ways we can all contribute to a better future.
We encourage families to invite their children to share what they have learned about residential schools. Please ask your children why we wear orange shirts to honour the experiences of residential school survivors, and those who did not return home. This conversation can be an opportunity to reflect on the harms and mistakes of the past, and the role each one of us must play in moving forward towards reconciliation.
Classrooms at AEW are
continuing the conversations from the “Every Child Matters” movement of last
spring, acknowledging and expanding student identities. Teachers continue to
provide learning contexts for students to critically retrace their steps through
the history of this land; the truth of residential schools, indigenous
treaties, inherent racism, and the power relations that continue to marginalize
Indigenous populations. As a community we all are thinking about our own
personal acts of reconciliation.
Met Centre for Arts and Technology
As the newest Seven Oaks School Division school located at the heart of Treaty 1 on the homelands of the Anishinabe and birthplace of the Metis Nation, our school faculty and students are committed to deepening our understanding and actions of Indigenous history as truth, and working in partnership with our Indigenous students, local peoples and organizations to work towards actions that address the ongoing challenges and resilient successes in reconciliation.
As the first of our four school plan pillars, our school will dedicate itself to hearing from elders, families, engaging in reading, and working to incorporate the 94 Calls to Action into all student project work. Reconciliation goes beyond Orange Shirt Day, and we see it as our obligation as a school to engage in this work year round. This begins with a Land Acknowledgement each morning, all the way through to learners taking their experiences home to share with their families, and as individuals remaining open to ongoing learning about what it means to live and learn on Treaty land beyond their graduation.
École Seven Oaks Middle School
Nous espérons que les familles qui faisaient partie du système des pensionnats resteront fortes. En ce jour, il est important de se souvenir, prendre l'initiative d'apprendre et de réfléchir le passé pour travailler dans une direction positive à l'avenir. Nous espérons que les familles porteront l'orange pour se souvenir et respecter la journée de chemise orange.
We need to continue
to move forward with HOPE on a path of Truth and Reconciliation. Without
truth, we cannot maintain integrity, or reconcile. Without truth, we
cannot teach generations to come. We have many more similarities than
differences. Let us honour all students of Residential School Survivors and
those children who did not make it home.
As September 30th marks the day of Truth and Reconciliation, we would like for all to acknowledge the children who did not get to return home to their families. On this day, we will pause, reflect and send messages of love, to not only those who have lost their lives too soon, but for all who have been affected by Residential Schools.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day of remembrance and reflection, to honour the survivors of Residential Schools and to mourn the lives of the children who died. It is a day to listen, to observe, to attend events, to support Indigenous artists and communities and to commit to action. Our students have participated in Orange Shirt Day for many years now. Here are some of their thoughts on what this day means to them:
- It is important to sit together and have a day of remembrance so that we can know the truth about has happened and is happening to our country's Indigenous Peoples. – Iaine
- I want all students to go home and share what they know with their families. – Dexter
- I hope that this day brings out the truth about residential schools and we share what we know with our families. – Aliyah
- We need to know the truth to make things better. – Cris
- I hope this day helps us talk more about what happened so that the truth is all out. I also hope that this day on reconciliation will be important and it will be something we think about every day. – Rhiana
In recognition of the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation on September 30th, our James Nisbet family – students and staff – are gathering for an outdoor, student-led assembly to lead us through reflection and honouring those who went to residential schools. We are also welcoming Elder Betty Ross to share her stories and teaching with our school. We are asking our James Nisbet family to wear orange shirts on September 29th, the day of our assembly, and October 1st. On September 30th, please engage in conversations with your child around their learning and understanding of Orange Shirt Day and how we can all move along our journey of living as a part of our community through Truth & Reconciliation.
is a day to reflect and acknowledge the experiences and effects of residential
schools on the lives of the survivors and their families. Each student will
take home an orange envelop with a talking point to start a conversation with
their families on September 30th. It is our hope that our students
will carry the torch by sharing the knowledge learned around Truth and
Reconciliation. It is our responsibility as Canadians to work hard on building
positive relationships between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people. On
September 29th, students and staff will wear orange and walk around
our community to honor residential school survivors.
We are committed to the work of healing and reconciliation, to learn the shared history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. We are committed to uncovering our own biases so we can walk the path towards reconciliation as a community.
École Leila North School
“The road we travel is equal in importance to the destination we seek. There are no shortcuts. When it comes to truth and reconciliation we are forced to go the distance."
~ Honourable Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair former Senator, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Orange Shirt Day, now
the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, has been recognized at West
Kildonan Collegiate since 2013. It began to educate people and to promote
awareness in Canada about the residential school system and the deep-rooted
impacts it had and still has on Indigenous communities. We will continue to
learn about this in all of our classrooms and we wear Orange this week to make
our support visible for residential school survivors and for a renewed
commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. We hope on September 30th that you wear
orange and that a part of your day (families and students) is spent reflecting
upon and learning more about Truth and Reconciliation.
Forest Park Community
School is committed to Truth and Reconciliation, not only on September 30th,
but every day. Through storytelling, time with Elders, books, projects
and rich discussions, students are gaining an appreciation for the Indigenous
people who were on this land from the beginning and continue to be a valuable
part of our community. During the week of September 27-October 1 we
reflect on and acknowledge those whose lives were lost, those that survived and
those that were affected by residential schools. We continue to gain
understanding of the significance of Every Child Matters.
Gakina abinoonjii ebiitandiziwag – Every child matters. At Riverbend, on Treaty 1 territory, we believe that every kid should know that someone cares about them and loves them for who they are, every day.
École Belmont invites families to remember the work we are doing as a community to learn together and do our part for truth and reconciliation. We hope families will use this time to remember and reflect.
Chaque enfant compte
In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th and to honour Residential School Surviors, their families and those children who did not return home, our École Rivière-Rouge school family is gathering at our Heart Garden which serves as our daily reminder of our work towards Truth and Reconciliation.
Each student at École Rivière-Rouge was invited to paint a rock orange and write a word or draw a heart to represent what our students have learned about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Some words that were used are amour, réconciliation, justice, Phyllis, chaque enfant compte, sécurité, équité. On September 29th students will place their rock inside the small heart cut-out in the Heart Garden.
On September 30th please take time to reflect upon and learn more about our part in achieving Truth and Reconciliation.
Students and staff are invited to wear an orange shirt or other orange piece of clothing as a symbol of our support for residential school survivors on Wednesday, Sept. 29th. Classes are having conversations and exploring learning resources about the history of residential schools in Canada as part of their learning during Truth & Reconciliation Week (Sept. 27th-Oct. 1).