Today as a school board, we recognize Orange Shirt Day. Across our school board, students and staff members are wearing orange and holding events to honour the courage and resiliency of residential school survivors and to reflect on the lasting legacy of this dark part of our history.
As people who live on this land, we all have a responsibility to learn more about First Nation, Métis and Inuit histories, perspectives and cultures, and have a role to play in reconciliation. As people who work in an education system, that responsibility is even greater. What are we teaching our students? Whose perspectives are represented in our resources? What kind of environment are we creating in our schools and workplaces?
Earlier this year, as part of my own learning, I read the book Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga. It is one more powerful reminder of the challenges, injustices and discrimination Indigenous people continue to face in this country. Residential schools may be part of our history, but they have left a legacy that continues to this day.
One of our goals in the Director’s Annual Plan includes building a collective understanding of the ongoing impact of colonialism on Indigenous Communities, Anti-oppression, and Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy. In addition to this, great work continues in our schools to build relationships with Indigenous communities, enhance accurate understandings about Indigenous perspectives, and to support First Nation, Métis and Inuit students.