Adapted from material originally submitted by SRTA Indigenous Education Committee Chair Jenna Desilets (https://srta.ca/2022/09/29/the-national-day-for-truth-and-reconciliation-orange-shirt-day-resources-from-srta-2022/)
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is being observed this Saturday, September 30th and educators are asked to honour residential school survivors by wearing orange on Friday, September 29th. As we use these days to reflect on Canada’s past and present, may we also be hopeful for a future where truth and reconciliation are front and center.
As teachers, we play a vital role in educating students and helping them take action and move forward down a path towards reconciliation. The honourable Murray Sinclair’s powerful words on education speaks to this. He said…
“Education is what got us into this mess …but education is the key to reconciliation.”
As educators, we have the responsibility, but also the honour, to be part of truth and reconciliation in Canada.
It is easy to see this as a huge undertaking and duty, one that can seem like a lot to take on. The important thing to remember though, is that with each new activity, lesson or discussion, we are taking those steps, even if they seem small to us at the time. These steps work in the spirit of reconciliation, and they do make a positive impact!
As the Indigenous Education Chair of SRTA, I would love to work with you, brainstorm ideas, and offer suggestions for resources you can use in your classroom. Exploring Indigenous perspectives with fellow educators is something I truly value and prioritize, not only right now as we have reached the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but throughout the school year. If you would like to connect to discuss what truth and reconciliation and Indigenous perspective/education in general could look like in your classroom, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, if you would like some ideas and resources to get you started, please reference the following pages. The Manitoba Teachers’ Society have a dedicated part of their website on truth and reconciliation, which you can find at this link: Truth and Reconciliation Week
Thank you for the important work you do as an educator to take steps towards truth and reconciliation!
- Download The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) Resources from SRTA (2022) (PDF)
- Access resources at The Manitoba Teachers’ Society website.
- Access resources at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.