Halton school board doing this to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Published September 29, 2022 at 10:44 am

The Halton District School Board will be lowering flags at all schools and offices on Friday (Sept. 30) in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The HDSB and individual school will also be honouring this “important day” with a number of acknowledgments and learning opportunities.

The special day seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school survivors, their families and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

The day was traditionally recognized as Orange Shirt Day and was inspired by the story of the Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s experience on her first day at a residential school.

Phyllis was a student at St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C.

“In consultation with Indigenous experts, the HDSB Indigenous Rights and Education team works with staff across the system to build informed knowledge and understanding to enable staff to critically examine and apply their learning to classroom and department practices,” says Jennie Petko, Superintendent of Education, with responsibility for Indigenous Rights and Education and the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusive Education Department.

“The learning for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation goes beyond this one day.” adds Petko. “HDSB staff and students have been provided with resources and learning opportunities to help guide them in learning before and beyond September 30. The HDSB stands behind and upholds the Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness area of focus in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan.

“Together, we must do more than just talk about reconciliation, we must learn how to practice reconciliation in our everyday lives, within ourselves and our families, our schools and communities.”

Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness is one of five areas of focus in the HDSB’s 2020-2024 Multi-Year Strategic Plan and is intended to promote knowledge and understanding of Indigenous truths, rights and realities.

See here to watch a video message for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation posted by HDSB Director of Education Curtis Ennis.

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