This year on September 30, in addition to acknowledging Orange Shirt Day, we mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - a day to reflect on the lasting legacies of residential schools.
Earlier this year, we were horrified and heartbroken to learn of the discovery of unmarked graves at the sites of several former residential schools. While many of us were shocked at this news, tragically, for many Indigenous communities, this news did not come as a surprise. They have been living with the horror, trauma and tragedy of residential schools for a long time. It is thanks to the resiliency and courage of residential school survivors that we are coming to learn the truth of what happened in those schools. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and we have a responsibility to listen and learn.
On September 30, our staff and students are invited to join a virtual ceremony titled: Binoojiinyag Mikwendaamowin Giizhigad - Day For Remembering Children ᐊᐱᓄᒋᐣᐦᔭᐠᒥᑵᐣᑕᒧᐏᐣᑭᔑᑲᐟ. The ceremony is hosted by the YRDSB Indigenous Education Team in association with Indigenous community.
It is incumbent upon us as Canadians to learn, understand and acknowledge the truth of our history and the deep harms and injustices that were inflicted on the First Peoples of this land. We cannot reach our potential as a society and as a country without truth and reconciliation.
As a school board, we are committed to undertaking this learning journey, and we are grateful for the work of our Indigenous Education Team in sharing resources and tools with our schools to assist us in our work and learning. It is our hope that you will join us in our learning.
Last June, some Indigenous staff members came together to discuss Indigenous education, residential schools and more. We invite you to listen to their conversation. You may also be interested in the Treaty Talks series, also available on the podcast.
Learn more about National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and our virtual ceremony.
Review the Truth and Reconciliation Reports and the Calls to Action. It is incumbent upon us as an education system to understand and embrace our role in Truth and Reconciliation.
Cynthia Cordova, Chair
Louise Sirisko, Director