Schools mark Truth and Reconciliation Day


West Nipissing schools highlighted the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in various ways. Elementary schools encouraged students to wear an orange shirt, and some had student activities to honour and teach about the survivors and the children who never made it back from residential schools. For example, the students at Ste Marguerite d’Youville in Verner each left an orange handprint to create an “Every Child Matters flag.” Local high schools held larger group events and rallies featuring Indigenous speakers, music, and more.

Franco-Cité held a ceremony in their gym, placed orange “Every Child Matters” banners outside the school, and even did a short march. “For the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Patriotes held a gathering to honour the children who never made it back home. To underline Orange Shirt Day, they wore orange shirts to honour the thousands of residential school survivors. They also heard the stories of one of those survivors. Chi-Miigwech to Roger Chum for sharing his experiences at a residential school, his trauma, and his personal journey,” read a message issued by the school after the event.

École secondaire Nipissing Ouest, and Northern Secondary School had a gathering in their gym, and had their own guest speakers in attendance. “Today, the students heard a very important message from Chief Scott McLeod and Mr. Daniel Stevens, who explained the realities and consequences of the actions and practices of colonialism. The recognition of Orange Shirt Day, and the reflection on the Robinson-Huron treaty are important steps in the process of reconciliation, according to Chief McLeod. For the students, Orange Shirt Day is a day of commemoration and sensitization in honour of the survivors of the Indian residential schools in Canada,” read a post from ESPNO on the activites.

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