(Pictured above: Superintendent Susan Edwards discussed how the Upper Canada District School Board is moving towards reconciliation through its Indigenous Education Program.)
Board Hosts Truth and Reconciliation
Commission +2 Feast and Celebration
May 9, 2017 (Smiths Falls) – The Upper Canada District School Board renewed its commitment to the process of reconciliation with our Indigenous communities Monday night at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission +2 Feast and Celebration. The event, held at Duncan J Schoular Public School, invited members of our Indigenous communities to a traditional feast, followed by a ceremony with Indigenous partners.
It is the Upper Canada District School Board’s mission - and its commitment to its communities - to prepare all students for a successful life. The UCDSB understands that delivering on this mission includes preparing our students to successfully engage in respectful relations with others and to be prepared to fully engage in reconciliation as envisioned by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. In addition to the steps that we are taking to focus on teaching and learning that further contributes to building respectful relationships, the UCDSB hosts an annual Gathering where we can “take stock” of our movements forward in this commitment.
“We wanted to celebrate Indigenous culture and help to create an awareness among our communities about our commitment to reconciliation through education,” said Bill Montgomery, an Indigenous Education Student Support Teacher with the Board. Speakers discussed how programming and other activities in our schools met that goal. Highlights of the ceremony included:
· A review by Superintendent Susan Edwards of how the Upper Canada District School Board was moving towards reconciliation through its Indigenous Education Program. About 2,500 students are now taking Indigenous education courses.
· Presentation of “Orange Shirt Garden” symbols or tobacco ties to Indigenous guests as a symbol of respect.
· A presentation by Almonte and District High School student Katie Budge about her journey to recognize and honour her Métis heritage.
· An address by Perth and District Collegiate Institute student Brandon Cordy about how his leadership led to the creation of an Indigenous student group at his high school to discuss and celebrate Indigenous culture.
The celebration was part of two larger Truth and Reconciliation Commission +2 gatherings being held May 8 and 9 in Smiths Falls and May 10 and 11 in Cornwall in which Board students are learning about Indigenous culture in order to build understanding and lasting reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous communities.
Posted May 9, 2017