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St. Clair Catholic Observes National Truth and Reconciliation Week – September 26 to 30

During this time in late September, we honor all those who were impacted by residential schools. This year’s theme for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day on September 30, is “Remember the Children”.

“At St. Clair Catholic, we stand in solidarity with Canada’s First Nations and we commit to learning and action, as we understand the history we were never taught, on our journey of reconciliation through education, with students and staff,” says Scott Johnson, Director of Education. 

The Every Child Matters flag, which is a symbol of our commitment, is designed by Cedric Isaac, Bkejwanong Territory.

Every Child Matters flags will fly all week at all schools across the system to raise awareness and to honor the memory of the children who never made it home. From September 26 through September 30, students will engage in first-hand, age-appropriate, learning opportunities. On September 30, students and staff are encouraged to wear orange, as a show of support.  Students and staff across the district will learn from survivors of residential schools and their family members, as they discuss ways to raise awareness about the injustices of the past. 

Events planned for the week include:

  • All schools will participate in an opening with reflection and song on Orange Shirt Day from elders Deb and Barry Milliken, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, Biindigaygizhig, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, and a moment of silence with Andria Dyer, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.
  • Former NHL hockey player, Jason Simon, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, will join schools to share his story of resilience and inspire youth to make a difference and achieve their dreams.
  • Students in different grade levels will have sessions geared to every division. They will have the opportunity to paint with artist Moses Lunham, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation and create art works that inspire further conversations.
  • Dr. Judy Peters, Bkejwanong Territory, will bring poetry to the youth to inspire how words impact the journey together.
  • Classes will engage in learning first-hand from survivors with the Woodland Cultural Centre, which is also known as the Mohawk Institute Residential School museum, and think about reconciliation in action.
  • Author David Robertson, will join classes virtually to connect his picture books to classroom conversations.
  • Phyllis Webstad, whose story of the Orange Shirt originated from, will have a special session with classes to share her story. 

For more information, including learning resources, can be found on the Board website at: Indigenous Education Webpage on Residential Schools