September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. This is an opportunity for us to come together, continue to learn about the residential school system and witness and honour the healing journey of survivors and their families.
As early childhood educators and child care workers, we are often part of children and families’ first contact with the education system, therefore it is extremely important that we learn about the role played by the system in separating Indigenous families and harming First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Turtle Island.
At the AECEO, we believe it is our duty to use that knowledge to re-examine our practices, policies and structures in order to disrupt harmful systems and promote true understanding and allyship. We invite you to revisit the Truth and Reconciliation Resources curated by the AECEO in 2022 and check out the following list of readings, videos and other resources to support your learning journey. We also encourage you to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and reflect on the ways you can take action in your pedagogical practice and in your community.
Please be advised that the links below touch on topics such as child abuse, family separation, intergenerational trauma and genocide.
- Orange Shirt Day founder Phyllis Webstad answers kids’ questions [9:48]
- What is Reconciliation? [4:46]
- All About Orange Shirt Day [1:55]
Readings and resources to help with planning:
- Indigenous Education Resources by Robyn Michaud, professor at Conestoga College. Includes shared reading activities for Kindergarten to Grade 8, in English and French
- Missing Children of Indian Residential Schools Story Map, by the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor
- Remembering the Children Educational Package, by Canada’s National History Society and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (includes a publication for students and a guide for educators)
- It’s Our Time, the Assembly of First Nations Education Toolkit, learning module #6 is about Residential Schools
- AECEO Guiding Committee on Truth and Reconciliation - eceLINK articles
- Truth and Reconciliation Week, hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Lunch & Learn events are being streamed live from Sept. 25th-30th. Recordings are made available on the same day on the NCTR’s youtube channel.
- Truth and Reconciliation Event Series, hosted by Finding our Power Together. A three-part workshop series featuring conversations of reconciliation and how best to support Indigenous youth designed for families, early childhood educators and young professionals. More information here.
Websites and organizations of interest: