National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Beginning this year, the federal government declared September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day was also referred to as Orange Shirt Day.
The Cree School Board started the day with a commemoration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30, 2021 in front of their Head Office.
Former Cree School Board Chairperson, Residential School Survivor, and Elder Kenny Blacksmith led the inaugural prayer and a traditional song with a drum.
It was a day dedicated to remembering and honouring all Residential School Survivors, their families, and communities. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the history of Canada’s residential schools’ system.
Doreen Blackned and Harriet C. Brien, CSB workers and Residential School Survivors, lower the flags.
“Our Cree School Board and Eeyou Education are our response to our residential school experience,” said Chairperson Dr. Sarah Pash, “Education can be healing, and to make it so, we must commit to genuine and meaningful action towards Truth and Reconciliation.”
Here are how our schools honoured the day:
Traditional Drumming and Singing
Community members gathered around the drum to remember the children who did not return home and honour the Survivors.
Memorial and Healing Walk
Children, parents, and employees across Eeyou Istchee honoured the victims and survivors of the residential school system by walking around their schools, and communities.
While the schools and offices remained opened, it was a chance for students, employees, and community members to learn more about the history of the Residential Schools, the impacts in their communities, and how they want to move forward. It was a day of important healing and reflection.