NC plans for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Earlier this year, the Government of Canada established a new a federal statutory holiday for September 30 to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools: the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
While September 30 is not a statutory holiday in the Province of Ontario, plans are well underway for the College community to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in a meaningful way.
While September 30 will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for NC, it builds on the College’s strong tradition of annual Orange Shirt Day initiatives, which have served to reinforce that ‘every child matters,’ and remind the College community of the devastating history of Indigenous residential schools and their impact on Indigenous children, families and communities.
This year on September 30, Indigenous Education asks the College community to take time to mourn the losses and honour the survivors of residential schools. NC students and employees are encouraged to get involved by supporting events at the College and in their community, and to learn more about the truth of residential schools. The events planned for Sept. 30 are intended to be a starting point for an ongoing discussion around Truth and Reconciliation, and an initial step in the important work the College will be undertaking related to Truth and Reconciliation.
Events planned for Sept. 30:
Honouring the Children – Sept. 30 (9-11 a.m)
A land-based event will be held in the Indigenous Garden at the Daniel J. Patterson in Niagara-on-the-Lake on the morning of Sept. 30. Elder Dave Labbe (who is also a NC alumnus) will light a fire, offer medicines, and guide the College community to reflect on the children who were forced from their communities to attend residential schools. Attendance will be limited to maintain COVID-19 gathering restrictions; staff will be on site to monitor. Additional details will be announced in the near future.
Virtual Circle Discussion: Truth Before Reconciliation – Sept. 30 (2 p.m.)
On September 30, NC Indigenous Education will host its first Virtual Circle Discussion: Truth Before Reconciliation. The initiative will focus on the need to learn about Indigenous culture and understand the truth of the profound effects that residential schools continue to have on Indigenous communities while honouring the strength of survivors.
NC employees and students are invited to join Indigenous Education for this virtual event to learn more about Indigenous cultures and the effects that colonization had on them, and listen to stories told by the guest speakers and those impacted by residential schools in Canada.
Indigenous Education’s Virtual Circle Discussion, Truth Before Reconciliation, will be held via Zoom for an estimated 60-90 minutes. More information will be announced during the weeks ahead.
Faculty, administrators and students are encouraged to register at niagaracollege.ca/indigenouseducation/event/orange-shirt-day-2/
Additional events leading up to Sept. 30:
Community of Practice – Sept. 27 (9 a.m.)
The first Community of Practice session of 2021-22 will be held for faculty and from the School of Business and Management; Hospitality, Tourism and Sport; and Environment and Horticulture.
The one-hour virtual session (via MS Teams) will aim to help staff and faculty learn about the importance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Staff from NC Indigenous Education will share information about how they support NC Indigenous students, and faculty members will share their experiences. The session will conclude with a question-and-answer period. A calendar invite has been sent to staff and faculty within the schools.
T & L Conversations: Decolonizing Education – Sept. 27 (1:30-3 p.m.)
As part of its Teaching and Learning Conversation Series, the Centre for Academic Excellence will host a session grounded in the book, Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit by Marie Battiste. Participants will be asked to read the chapter “The Legacy of Assimilative Education for Indigenous Peoples” and reflect on guiding questions prior to attending the 90-minute conversation facilitated by CAE staff.
The event is open to NC faculty and staff. Due to the conversational nature of the session, participation will be limited to 40. If interest is high, the session will be repeated later this year.
To register and view details, visit the event page here.