Dear school community,
As a result of the tragedy in Kamloops, British Columbia, our flags will fly at half mast for nine days to honour the lives and memories of the 215 children who never returned home from the Kamloops Residential School. Sadly, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission acknowledges that there are many more undocumented children that loss their lives nationally.
We are also encouraging students and staff to wear orange on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Traditionally, Orange Shirt Day is held in September, as way to honour the survivors of residential schools along with those who did not return. We must continue to remember the impact of the residential school system, each and every day.
Although this discovery was in Kamloops, we cannot forget the long-lasting impact the Shubenacadie Residential School has in Nova Scotia. The legacy of Canada’s residential school system continues to have a negative impact on all of us, including TCRCE students, staff, families, and school communities. TCRCE believes there are teachable moments in times of grief and sorrow, and we are encouraging conversations in the classrooms. If you (or someone you know) is struggling, there is support available:
- The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
- The Indian Residential Schools Survivor Society: 1-800-721-0066
- The Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Crisis and Referral Centre: 1-855-379-2099
- Additional School Mental Health Supports
Tragedies such as this are a reminder of the importance of reconciliation and TCRCE’s commitment to educate students of our shared history. This commitment ensures that Treaty Education is built into the curriculum from grades primary to twelve to provide a better understanding of the Mi’kmaq, treaties, importance of relationships, as we move towards reconciliation.
We encourage you to join us, and act towards honoring the truth. What can you do?
- Wear orange as a symbol of awareness. Learn more about residential schools and the Orange Shirt Day Initiative
- Read and understand your role in the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report
- Learn more about the Mi’kmaq and the rich stories of who they are & their lived experience in this resource: Teaching about the Mi’kmaq
- Learn about the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, including our treaty rights and responsibilities.
- For our school-based staff: Intentionally teach Mi’kmaq history, culture and ways of knowing in your classrooms and programs.
We are all Treaty People.
Dr. Chris Boulter
TCRCE Regional Executive Director of Education