Local schools are making plans to honor and celebrate Indigenous Culture for this year’s new federal holiday.
The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has announced its plans for the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a holiday dedicated to Indigenous survivors and victims of the residential school system. UCDSB schools will be recognizing the holiday alongside the 8th annual Orange Shirt Day, another event honoring Indigenous children put through residential schools.
According to the UCDSB, schools throughout the district will have their flags at half-mast for September 30th, while students and staff are being asked to dress in orange clothing. Additionally, schools throughout the district will be hosting activities to teach students about Indigenous Culture, including a webinar with an Indigenous author for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, a smudging ceremony at Almonte District High School, and a two-day celebration at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute hosted by local Haudenasaunee and Anishinaabe partners.
Kelty Grant, the school board’s Principal of Indigenous Education, is excited for the board’s plans. “This day is an opportunity for our classrooms and communities to pause, reflect and have conversations about the lasting impacts of residential schools,” Grant says. “I am so proud of our schools for taking these extra steps and organizing special events in recognition of the day.”