Friday, September 10, 2021 - Parkland School Division will observe the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was created to give everyone an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools, which more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forced to attend between the 1870s and 1997.
All Parkland School Division schools and buildings will be closed on September 30, 2021, giving students and staff the opportunity to properly observe the day at home. The decision comes after consultation with neighbouring school jurisdictions and engagement with school councils across PSD. Flags will be flown half mast across Parkland School Division and a Pipe Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, September 29th in collaboration with Elders from our Indigenous partners at Paul First Nation. Schools will have the option to observe this ceremony virtually from their school.
In Parkland School Division, September 30th has recently been observed as Orange Shirt Day, a legacy project with a focus on commemorating the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Students in schools were typically invited to wear an orange shirt that day and some classroom instruction as well as school or classroom events were created to honour the spirit of the day.
This school year, Orange Shirt Day will be observed on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. PSD’s Instructional Services team is working together with schools to develop and share resources for teachers to use leading up to the day, enabling school-based staff to work with students to raise awareness and educate about the meaning of Truth and Reconciliation and the 94 Calls to Action.
In order to facilitate the 2021-2022 school calendar change, the previously scheduled non-operational day in May will be used on September 30th. Therefore, students will now attend school on Thursday, May 19, 2022 with Friday May 20th turning into a professional development day for staff.
The creation of a national day of Truth and Reconciliation was one of the 94 recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, released in June 2015. The day itself was officially created as a federal statutory holiday on June 3, 2021 when Bill C-5 was passed by both houses of Parliament.
For further information, contact:
Shauna Boyce, Superintendent
Parkland School Division