St. Clair Catholic school board putting special focus on Truth and Reconciliation

Orange shirts decorated by students at Great Lakes Secondary School in Sarnia. (File photo from the GLSS facebook page)

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB) is planning to provide several opportunities for students and their families to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Week.

The board said it already started getting students ready for those observances by bringing in a youth motivational speaker, Theland Kicknosway from Bkejwanong Territory, who led some learning sessions beginning on September 21, 2021. His messages focus on inspiring youth to take action and create change.

Staff and parents will also have an opportunity to learn more about the impacts of the residential school system and the role that they can play in supporting youth in learning more about that as the school board hosts an event with Jenny Kay Dupuis, author of I Am Not a Number and from Biindigaygizhig, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.

Anyone interested in registering that event can click here.

The SCCDSB will also be leading some initiatives in the classroom throughout Truth and Reconciliation Week, including the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, which is also known as Orange Shirt Day.

Students and staff will be encouraged to wear orange on that day as a symbol of their support and they will be learning from survivors and family members of survivors about how they can raise awareness of the issues.

“The acknowledgement of Truth and Reconciliation Week and all the planned activities provide opportunities for schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for future generations,” said Deb Crawford, Director of Education, in a release. “St. Clair Catholic has a history of bringing first hand-learning to communities across the system, in keeping with the Calls to Action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, as we deepen our relationships with Indigenous partners.”

You can find more information about the school board’s plans for Truth and Reconciliation Week by clicking here.