Over the course of the 2021-22 school year, the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC) will release monthly chapters of the Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation PD Playlist.
Why Do We Wear Orange on September 30th?
In the spirit of truth and reconciliation, Canadians are encouraged to wear an orange shirt on September 30th. This day is a tremendously important acknowledgement of the history and legacy of residential schools, and time to hold hope for a future where Every Child Matters and Indigeneity is celebrated with pride across the nation. Canadians are encouraged to wear orange on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in honour of Phyllis Webstad’s courageous sharing of her residential school survivor story. To learn more about Phyllis and her story, click here.
Continuing into the late 1990s, mandatory boarding and/or day schooling in Canada extracted Indigenous children from their homes and communities, depriving them of their culture, traditions and language. 25 residential schools were located in the province of Alberta. Indigenous children were required to attend legislated schooling with the intention of assimilation to colonial ways of life; robbing them of centuries of traditional knowledge. It is now understood that the residential schooling experience was emotionally and physically abusive, resulting in trauma that continues to this day.
“How it came about, I wish someone would really explain it and say why they did it because in the end they killed a whole culture. All that’s left is fragments of it here and there.”
– Pauline Dempsey
Residential School Survivor
Shared in St Albert Today, June 9, 2021
To build your foundational knowledge about the history and legacy of residential schools, work through the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia’s (ARPDC) History and Legacy of Residential Schools Conversation Guide with colleagues.
In recent months, hundreds of unmarked child graves have been found at former residential school sites; many more discoveries are anticipated as intentional work begins to search for unmarked graves at school sites across the nation.
Effective June 2021, Orange Shirt Day is now recognised as a statutory holiday in Canada – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
About this PD Playlist
Rather than a singular day of celebration, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation needs to be one in a cascade of opportunities that celebrate, teach about, and invite Indigenous ways of knowing, and the histories and perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
Over the course of the 2021-22 school year, the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC) will release monthly Chapters of the Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation PD Playlist for this purpose. Each Chapter will follow the same format, taking an Alberta perspective inspired by the well known slogan for Orange Shirt Day, ‘Every Child Matters’, which invites Canadian educators to:
Learn and teach students about the history of treaty agreements and residential schooling and the lasting impacts for contemporary Indigenous peoples.
Take action towards a more equitable future for all youth by supporting students and engaging personally in acts of reconciliation.
BE AN ALLY
Celebrate Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being in our classrooms and daily lives as allies to Indigenous communities and students.
Each month will feature teachings from First Nations peoples living in the province of Alberta, or from schools around our province. Publication dates and Chapter focuses will be as follows:
Chapter 1 September 2021 Treaty 8
Chapter 2 October 2021 Treaty 7
Chapter 3 November 2021 Treaty 6
Chapter 4 January 2022 Métis
Chapter 5 February 2022 Treaty 8
Chapter 6 March 2022 Treaty 7
Chapter 7 April 2022 Métis
Chapter 8 May 2022 Inuit
Use this monthly resource to advance your own learning, or, engage in it together with your school team to learn, reflect, and take action together. In each edition you will find teachings about the histories and legacies of treaties and residential schools in the province of Alberta, as well as examples of work happening across the province in Alberta schools to invite Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being into daily classroom life for the benefit of all learners.
Each month, a new PD Playlist will be added to the carousel below. Follow @crconsortium on Twitter; @ARPDConsortia on Facebook for updates.