Clearview schools honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Clearview schools honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Every Child Matters

Starting in 2021, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a new federal statutory day of commemoration for the lost Indigenous children, residential school survivors and all the lives and communities affected by the Indian residential school system in Canada. Commemoration of the painful history and ongoing impact of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Honouring First Nations peoples, their history and their truth, is embedded in our schools. Clearview schools are comprised of over 185 self-identified Aboriginal learner students or 8.5% of the non-colony student population. For the past six years, Clearview has taken the opportunity on September 30, Orange Shirt Day, to teach students about the history and legacy of residential schools.

To recognize the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, Clearview schools hosted a variety of activities to recognize the day, reflect on the past, and look ahead to the future. Clearview believes having our teachers, staff, and students learning and talking about these important issues for this year provides benefits for all concerned, and ensures that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten.

"Today, in honour of the National Truth and Reconciliation and also Orange Shirt Day, our Clearview community has come together to honour the thousands of residential school survivors and to remember those who are no longer with us. We stand for hope and change."

- Superintendent Brenda MacDonald

To see a list of activities hosted in each school, click HERE.

Schools created the opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind. Many engaging and meaningful activities were offered to build First Nations, Métis, and Inuit foundational knowledge providing staff and students with a multitude of opportunities to continue their learning journey.

"As we embrace our work around truth and reconciliation, Clearview will be BRAVE and share the truth. What I know about Clearview teachers is that they have a great responsibility to move our society forward. Teachers love learning. They love their students. Teachers shape minds and societies. Clearview teachers are up to the opportunities this day offers and we will not forget."

- Superintendent Brenda MacDonald

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More information on the history of residential schools

Christian churches and the federal government launched the boarding schools in the 1870s and kept them going for more than a century, seeking to convert and assimilate Indigenous children who suffered widespread physical and sexual abuse at the institutions. The Catholic Church operated roughly 70 per cent of Canada's residential schools

Amendments to the Indian Act in 1894 authorized the government to remove an Indigenous child from their family if it was felt they were not being properly cared for or educated and place them in a school. Subsequent amendments to the act in 1920 further reinforced compulsory attendance at the schools.

More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forced to attend church-run, government-funded schools between the 1870s and 1997. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation examining residential schools has identified the names of, or information about, more than 4,100 children who died while attending these schools, most due to malnourishment or disease, and the actual death count is estimated to be higher. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canada-residential-schools-kamloops-faq-1.6051632)

The last residential school closed in Punnichy, Saskatchewan in 1996.

Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should be about making sure Canadians do not forget what the schools did to Indigenous children and their families.

Sinclair said that "education is the key to reconciliation," but noted that most of that work will be done in classrooms rather than at commemorative events.

"There is a growing body of educators who recognize that they have a responsibility to ensure that their students are given a broader and better education about the history of this country," he said. "That's where the real change is going to occur."

To understand more on the history of residential schools in Canada and the impacts these schools had on our neighbors, friends and family, please click HERE.

National Day Of Truth