National Day of Truth & Reconciliation

September 30, 2022

 

The schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board are situated on the Haldimand tract of land that is the traditional home of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral People. We acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We seek a new relationship with the Original People of this land, one based on honour and deep respect. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn here and reaffirm our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our community.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission ran from 2008 to 2015 and provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools policy with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has become the permanent archive for the statements, documents and other materials the Commission gathered, and its library and collections are the foundation for ongoing learning and research.

The Commission released its final report detailing 94 calls to action. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a direct response to Call to Action 80, which called for a federal statutory day of commemoration

A Prayer for those that Never Came Home

Great and Heavenly Spirit,
God of compassion, healing and comfort,
We lift up in prayer the sacred lives of the children, some now known to us, all known to you, who died in residential schools.
We lift up in prayer the sacred lives of the children who went missing from these schools and whose fates are unknown to those who held them most dear.
We grieve the loss of so many thousands of these little ones, and we grieve especially their loss so far away from home.
We grieve the loss of youth with so much potential. These were children of this place, children of our land. The loss of their giftedness is our collective loss.
We lament how long their families have had to live with unanswered questions. Hear our prayers:
for those who were not informed of their children’s deaths at all, or on a timely basis; for those who were not told of where their daughters and sons had been buried;
for those who have long hoped that a child who went missing somehow survived and had a good life—even as they may have also feared the worst.
We lament our complicity in the loss of these children. As members of a church which ran residential schools, we seek your help as we look to redress the many ways in which our church failed these Indigenous children, their families, and their communities. We pray that your reconciling love will teach us how to create true bonds of community and understanding as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples today.
We lift up with gratitude the efforts of all those who are seeking to honour the lives of the children who died, as well as the children whose fates are unknown, through ongoing research and acts of remembrance.
We ask for your continued guidance of them as they work to uncover the stories of the lost. We understand how precious this information is, and how vital it is to the healing of so many families and communities.
Bless those who are preparing to honour the children with sacred ceremonies and those who work to protect burial sites, in keeping with the traditions of Indigenous peoples across this land.
We pray for the families of these children and for all who loved them. Envelop them in the warmth of your infinite care and give them peace.
Inspire all of us with energy, wisdom, and commitment to the loving pursuit of the truth which will heal all of us in our brokenness and lead to reconciliation with our neighbours across this land.
Amen.

Calls to Action for Kids

The Caring Society works to ensure the safety and well-being of First Nations youth and their families through education initiatives, public policy campaigns and providing quality resources to support communities. Using a reconciliation framework that addresses contemporary hardships for Indigenous families in ways that uplift all Canadians, the Caring Society champions culturally based equity for First Nations children and their families so that they can grow up safely at home, be healthy, achieve their dreams, celebrate their languages and culture and be proud of who they are. The Caring Society proudly works with our partners in Canada and around the world to promote the rights of Indigenous children.

For all of the First Nation Caring Society Spirit Bear Resources, check out https://fncaringsociety.com/about-spirit-bear

For educational resources, check out Fun Ways to Learn. Here you can find student guides, lesson plans, activity books and colouring sheets for all grades. https://fncaringsociety.com/fun-ways-learn and https://fncaringsociety.com/educational-resources

 

Orange Shirt Day

The History of the Orange Shirt Society & Orange Shirt Day from https://www.orangeshirtday.org/

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself. It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc Nations along with the Cariboo Regional District, the Mayors and municipalities, School Districts and civic organizations in the Cariboo Region.

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of Reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the Reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of this project. As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.

The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind. A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for Reconciliation. A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected. Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of Reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

On this day of September 30th, we call upon humanity to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it.

 

Orange Shirt Society Official Orange Shirt Design for 2022

Orange Shirt Day Official 2022 Design

For the story of this years official Orange shirt & to order your Orange shirt day merchandise from a list of official supplies, go to https://www.orangeshirtday.org/shirts–gifts.html

Orange Shirt Day Books and Lesson Plans

(Every Elementary School in the WCDSB will be receiving an Orange Shirt Day Kit that includes The Orange Shirt Story, The Orange Shirt Story Study Guide, Beyond the Orange Shirt Story and the Beyond the Orange Shirt Story Study Guide in September 2022)

Primary/Junior

Primary/Junior Orange Shirt Day Book

 

Primary/Junior Orange Shirt Day Teachers Guide

 

The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad, Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band), explains the truth behind Orange Shirt Day held each September 30th. The storyteller describes her first day attending St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in Williams Lake, B.C., in the 1970s. On this memorable day the young Phyllis wore a new orange shirt purchased by her grandmother. Upon arriving at the residential school the shirt was removed from Phyllis and never returned by the nuns operating the school. Phyllis never forgot this experience. The Orange Shirt Story Lesson Plan for grades 1-8, by Phyllis Webstad includes the following: Brainstorming Activity, Letter Writing, T-Shirt Design Activity, Comprehension Questions, Colouring, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search and Discussion for Grade 7 and older.

Intermediate/Senior (Grades 7-12)

Beyond the Orange Shirt Story Book

 

Beyond the Orange Shirt Story Teachers Guide

 

Beyond the Orange Shirt Story is a unique collection of truths, as told by Phyllis Webstad’s family and others, that will give readers an up-close look at what life was like before, during, and after their Residential School experiences. In this book, Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors share their stories authentically and in their own words. Teacher lesson plans and resources that accompany the book Beyond the Orange Shirt Story.

Junior/Intermediate/Senior (Grades 4-12)

Orange Shirt Day Book Junior/Intermediate/Senior

 

This book explores the historical impact on Indigenous people in order to create champions who will walk a path of reconciliation through Orange Shirt Day, promoting the message that Every Child Matters.

Every Child Matters Crosswalk

The WCDSB is supporting the Every Child Matters Crosswalk initiative in September 2022. The Official opening of the crosswalk is scheduled for September 16th with visiting members from the Orange Shirt Society.

Every Child Matters Crosswalk

 

Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022

September 26th – September 30th

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation released their event registration for reconciliation week, with extended programming for grades 1-12. See below for the information and link.

“Truth and Reconciliation Week is coming back this fall. This year, we’ve expanded the program to include age-appropriate material for grades 1 through 12 centered around the theme ‘Remembering the Children.’ Over four days, we’ll be bringing Indigenous knowledge keeper voices to students across the country.

Days 1-3 — September 26-28 — will feature a newly revised educational program with an hour of pre-recorded video content per day followed by live Q & A sessions.

Day 4 — September 29 — of Truth and Reconciliation Week will feature Gidinawendimin – We Are All Related, an in-person event in Mississauga. The event will be broadcast live for classrooms to tune in from coast to coast to coast. Keep an eye out for more information.

Teachers, help us bring Indigenous voices into your classrooms by registering today!”

Register Here

Locally Designed Orange Shirts that Support Healing of the Seven Generations

The Healing of the Seven Generations, https://healingofthesevengenerations.ca/, assists First Peoples residing in the Region of Waterloo and surrounding areas. They work with individuals and families who are suffering the inter-generational impacts of the residential school system. This includes growing up in dysfunctional families; emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual abuses; poor self-esteem or poor self-image as a First Peoples person; loss of culture; lack of awareness of cultural identity, teachings, values, and traditions; poverty, and addictions.

The Centre welcomes First Peoples from all ages, genders, and cultural groups, including status and non-status First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals and families.

The Healing Of the Seven Generations Poster

GoodMinds.com

GoodMinds.com

 

For a list of over 250 titles, including fiction and non-fiction about Residential Schools, visit: https://goodminds.com/

An Indigenous Owned Book Store on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reservation https://goodminds.com/pages/search-results-page?q=residential%20school%20books&page=4

Legacy of Hope Foundation

Legacy of Hope Foundation

 

For more information about Residential schools, Survivor Stories, podcasts, videos etc. please visit the Legacy of Hope Foundation, Where are the Children website: https://legacyofhope.ca/wherearethechildren/