Truth and Reconciliation 2022 in the District: Remembering the Children

Posted On Tuesday September 27, 2022

SD73 acknowledges that students, staff and families reside on Secwepemcúl’ecw and recognizes the Secwépemc People as the keepers of their traditions and knowledge.

SD73 schools are participating in a national program called Truth and Reconciliation Week, and the theme is “Remembering the Children.” Truth and Reconciliation week occurs from September 26-30, 2022 with September 30th as the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This week honors the children who never returned home, survivors of residential school, as well as families and communities impacted by residential schools.

During this week, students and staff are engaging in learning experiences and participating in various activities to raise awareness around residential schools and their impact, as well as to demonstrate support for all those impacted by the residential schools. Trustees have traditionally taken part in this day by attending either a School Board Office ceremony or by attending their liaison school activities.

The District Aboriginal Education team is providing additional resources for schools. District Principal Bowden has created a Cultural Safety, Humility and Competency Guide that is being distributed to all staff.

“The Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education is committed to truth and reconciliation and participates with staff, students, and families in remembering the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools,” said Board Chair Heather Grieve.

“Local Elders have requested that we remember the 215 children who lost their lives in the Kamloops Indian Residential School as “Le Estcwéy?”, which means ‘the missing’,” said Dr. Rhonda Nixon, Superintendent. “Using words rather than numbers to refer to the missing children demonstrates respect, as students who attended residential schools were assigned and referred to as numbers.”

Students and staff are wearing orange shirts on September 29, 2022 to mark Orange Shirt Day. Staff and students across the District will be holding acknowledgement activities on this day. School leaders are inviting trustees to attend and participate in activities with their school communities. Board members are also invited to attend a ceremony being held at the school board office on September 29.

School and district leaders are also honoring September 29th by lowering the flags to half-mast. This district-wide symbolic gesture signals that everyone stands together to acknowledge the tragedies of the past and to engage in reconciliation to shape a more hopeful future.

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