This Thursday is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. School will not be in session, government offices will be closed, as will many other businesses and organizations.
This Wednesday, here at Mount Pleasant, we will be commemorating Orange Shirt Day. Students are asked to wear something orange (not everyone has a shirt). We will have a walk of remembrance around the school at 1145 am. In addition to this there will be stories and teaching in classes about residential schools. Our Indigenous Education Enhancement Worker Dee Hughes-Slade will be visiting classrooms to help with this.
We do ask that you as families and community also engage in the conversation and learning about Truth and Reconciliation and Canada’s history of residential schools. If you are new to this topic please remember that there are many resources online that can help. Here are but a few for you to see.
The first site I recommend is the official Orange Shirt Day website which has stories, videos and other valuable resources https://www.orangeshirtday.org/
As a school we are continually committed to acknowledge our host nations – The Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh. On their website the Tsleil-Waututh Nation has published a piece by their chief Jen Thomas and Gabe George Sr. who are the children of St. Paul Residential School survivors. Please find the time to read these local voices and their message about residential schools https://twnation.ca/a-message-from-chief-jen-thomas-gabe-george-sr-on-st-pauls-indian-residential-school-investigation-2/
If you would like to see the government of Canada’s site and the resources they recommend you can follow this link https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation.html
We would like to thank Dee Hughes-Slade (Mount Pleasant Indigenous Education Enhancement Worker) and the Vancouver School Board Indigenous Education Department for their guidance as we navigate educating students. Most importantly we would like to express our gratitude to the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations on whose Unceded and Unsurrendered Land our school stands.