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Commemorating The National Day Of Remembrance For Truth And Reconciliation

Today, on the National Day of Remembrance for Truth and Reconciliation, students and staff across our campuses are participating in activities to honour those that survived and those that were lost as a result of the residential school system, their families, and communities. We believe that engagement, empowerment and understanding are the first steps towards furthering reconciliation. With awareness comes education and with education comes the opportunity for action.

At our Burlington campus, the student council came together to honour those affected by residential schools by creating a paper tree where students can write messages of hope for a better future together. These messages along with donations will help support the Orange Shirt Society in support of Indigenous residential school reconciliation.

Last week, Blyth Academy@CIHA took part in a day of learning. “Our students participated in an afternoon of activities to learn and raise awareness about Truth and Reconciliation. The students took part in a wonderful Indigenous drumming workshop, viewed an educational presentation, and made Bannock, a traditional Indigenous bread,” said Principal Sue Kelly. Learning these customs has a huge impact on our students, giving them a glimpse into the Indigenous culture and promoting a deeper understanding and mutual respect for our indigenous communities.

Other campuses are commemorating today by wearing orange for Orange Shirt Day. Virtual events are taking place across our school communities where students will be introduced to
Indigenous community elders to gain an Indigenous perspective on current issues. Others are looking into the history of colonialism in Canada and continuing their conversations on Indigenous histories.

We understand the importance of continuing these teaching beyond today. Blyth Academy The Glebe has been an active participant in The Legacy Schools program through the Downie/Wenjack Fund (DWF) since 2019. They are committed to engaging, empowering, and connecting students and educators with further reconciliation through awareness, education, and action. “We signed up for the program to bring awareness to the interests, rights, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples, and to make sure that they are recognized and implemented in our daily learning,” says Principal Kirsty Larose. “Our goal is for students to continue this important conversation and to take steps, as future leaders, towards transmitting this knowledge to aid in our collective reconciliation journey.”