WELCOME TO THE ABBOTSFORD TEACHERS' UNION
I am the new Indigenous Education rep for the ATU. Please find below some information and resources for next week.
September 30, 2021, will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The Canadian government recently created this statutory holiday so that people can recognize and reflect on the impact of residential schools in our society. This relates to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80 which is to “honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
Some organizations are choosing to make it a Truth and Reconciliation Week where issues such as land claims, treaties, and residential schools are discussed. Each school can organize for this week and/or day as best suits your needs and setting. As a school or in your class, you can decide to choose one day to be Orange Shirt Day as staff and students won’t be at school on September 30, 2021, due to the new holiday. The day before, September 29, 2021, could be a good date to make as Orange Shirt Day for your school. Please see the attached posters that you can adjust the dates and information as needed for your school and/or classroom.
The Indian Residential School History & Dialogue Centre of UBC states that “every year on September 30th, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada. Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Phyllis’s shiny new orange shirt was stripped from her, never to be seen again. Forty years later, on September 30th, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience, and thus began the Orange Shirt Day movement.”
Here is a link below to hear Phyliss tell her story.
Below are some links with information, lesson ideas, resources, and activities you could use for Truth and Reconciliation Week and Orange Shirt Day. The resources range from primary to secondary--so take what works for you.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: University of Manitoba is offering a free program on Eventbrite for each day of the week for teachers.
BCTF Orange Shirt Day Activities
Orange Shirt Society Teacher Resources
SFU Resources and Links
Manitoba Teachers’ Society Orange Shirt Day Resources
McGill University Orange Shirt Day Resources
CBC Radio Orange Shirt Day Information for Kids
Canada’s History Order Form for a Digital Graphic Novel for Truth and Reconciliation Week
Tami Nicholson, Aboriginal Education Chair
Click on the following links to download posters:
Truth & Reconciliation Week Poster
Orange Shirt Day Poster