Last spring, representatives from Archwood, ATC, Frontenac, WPC, General Vanier, Sage Creek and our Indigenous Education Department came together to look at creating a meaningful event for our students to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day.
A Walk for Reconciliation was planned which connected all schools. We hoped to raise awareness in the community on the impact of Residential Schools as well as give our students a moment to contemplate the importance of Orange Shirt Day as they walked.
Resources were shared and collected to support the vital pre-teaching for this event. Opening ceremonies were generously hosted by Archwood school. The student body showcased handmade signs for Orange shirt day which visually enhanced our circle of guests.
A song and drumming were performed by Hilda Kent. Orange wrist bands were provided to all staff and students. On the wrists bands students wrote reasons why they walk, actions and thoughts towards a better Canada.
Each school prepared a Heart Garden and 130 orange tulips were purchased to represent the number of Residential Schools in Canada. The tulip bulbs were divided among the schools as a symbol of our joint commitment towards reconciliation. A group of student ambassadors walked from each school and presented the tulips and a painted heart sign to the next school on their route. The route connected all schools in a complete circle.
Our rain date coincided with the Province's acknowledgement of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. Red ribbons were tied along the route to honour the lives lost.
Orange Shirt Day presented a great opportunity for staff to collaborate and seek important connections. Our students were able to benefit from the layers built into the event and gained understanding of a very important Canadian historical event that has impacted lives for generations.
Hopefully through increased education and acknowledgment of the mistakes of the past, we can begin to move forward collectively and ensure these things never happen again!
ATC's Broadcast media students documented the ceremony.