Truth and Reconciliation Week is September 27th to October 1st is which is a 5-day national event that includes important conversations including the truths of the Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims, and the residential schools system. This online event showcases historical workshops, exclusive video content, and activities for students — all supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists. Recognized in this week is also National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. This summer, the federal government passed legislation to create a national day of recognition as one of 94 recommendations given by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Action 80 called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous people, to establish the day "to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process." September 30th is also recognized as Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day recalls the experience of residential school Survivor Phyllis Webstad, who at six was stripped of her new orange shirt on her first day attending the St. Joseph Mission Residential School near Williams Lake, BC. The date of September 30 was chosen because it was the time of year when Indigenous children were typically removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools.
GYPSD is committed to highlighting the importance of this day and encouraging all staff and students to take the time to educate, reflect and engage in conversations about truth, reconciliation and the actions that each of us can be taking. Each of GYPSD schools will find their own unique way to show support to mark this important date. We continue to show gratitude to members of our Elders and Knowledge Keepers, as well as our Indigenous staff, students and their families who continuously share their voice and their stories with our staff and students and provide their counsel in relation to our programs and services.