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Category Archives: FMNI
Since the date of September 30, 2018 falls on a Sunday, our board will recognize Orange
Shirt Day on Friday September 28, 2018 in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for the
The Orange Shirt Day movement started in 2013 to highlight the pain and suffering of thousands of Indigenous children who were sent to residential school throughout the last century. The colour of the shirt is connected to the experience of Phyllis Webstad who was sent to Cariboo Residential School near Williams Lake, BC, in 1973.
Six -years old at the time, Phyllis went to her first day of school wearing a new bright orange shirt. New clothes were a rare thing for the young girl, who was being raised by her grandmother. However, upon arriving at the school, the nuns stripped her of the shirt, forcing her to wear the school’s institutional uniform.
Webstad has felt the impact of that event long after it occurred, “that feeling of worthlessness and insignificance, ingrained in me from my first day at the mission, affected the way I lived my life for many years. Even now, when I know nothing could be further than the truth, I still sometimes feel that I don’t matter.”
The shirt has since gone on to become a symbol of a national movement that recognizes the suffering of Indigenous children at residential schools across the country and to show a renewed commitment to ensure that every child matters.
We encourage YRDSB staff and students to wear an orange shirt on September 28, 2018
to recognize the resiliency and bravery of Residential School Survivors.
A copy of this letter will be sent home with students this week, but we have also posted it here for your convenience.
This fall, our school joined other schools throughout the board in the Early Years and First Nation, Métis and Inuit Collaborative Inquiry project. This work aligns with our board’s implementation of it’s FMNI policy framework. As an Early Years’ focus school, this project was a great fit with our work. This week, seven of our staff met to develop a question that our team will explore this year. This week’s session was co-led by two staff facilitators through a collaborative inquiry approach which is a professional learning that we have started to explore as a school team this year.
This year long, job-embedded learning for teachers allows teams to investigate the use of resources that support early literacy development with contemporary and authentic First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures and worldviews. Our school does have students who have self identified with aboriginal ancestry however, we also know that everyone will benefit by increasing knowledge and understanding of students and staff regarding First Nation, Métis and Inuit histories, cultures and perspectives.
As is always the case when I join professional learning with our staff as a co-learner, the discussion was rich. I look forward to sharing our journey throughout this year in this important work.