PVNC schools focus on theme #EveryChildMatters for Orange Shirt Day

Sept. 29, 2021,

As part of Truth and Reconciliation Week, our staff and students have been engaged in conversations and learning about the traumatic legacies of residential schools on generations of Indigenous peoples across Canada.

Tomorrow is officially National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is also Orange Shirt Day in our schools, where we focus on the theme #EveryChildMatters. We encourage students, staff and parents/guardians to wear orange tomorrow.

The orange shirt is symbolic of how Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes, families and communities to attend state and church-led schools that stripped them of their culture, language and identity. This created irreversible harm from which many families still suffer.

As a school board, we have an obligation to educate our students, our staff, ourselves and one another, and to take action for the future of justice and healing for all Indigenous peoples. We are committed to ensuring our schools as well as the Catholic Education Centre are and continue to engage in awareness activities and actions throughout this week and in the future.

We have a number of learning and engagement opportunities happening throughout the system this week. These include daily announcements and prayers, the lowering of our flags at all our sites, as well as observing a moment of silence tomorrow to honour the lives lost.

Tomorrow we welcome Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, who will be presenting to our elementary and secondary students as well as our staff on the topic of reconciliation. Dr. Sinclair is Anishinaabe and originally from St. Peter’s (Little Peguis) Indian Settlement near Selkirk, Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues for CTV, CBC, and APTN. He is a columnist with the Winnipeg FreePress, an associate Professor with the University of Manitoba and a former high school teacher.

At PVNC, Orange Shirt Day is a day for students, staff, families and community partners to reflect on the meaning of Truth and Reconciliation and our responsibility to make meaningful change. Learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action.

Moving forward, we will continue to refine and improve our education resources for staff and students, as well as other ways the school board can commemorate those who suffered from the residential school experience.