Surrey Schools Statement on the Kamloops Residential School Burial Site

Statement from Surrey Schools on the horrific news out of Kamloops:

“This past Friday, Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓ pemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. announced the discovery of the remains of more than 215 children buried at the site of what was once a residential school. This news was a heartbreaking reminder of the trauma of residential schools, and the impacts that remain in our province today.

To honour these children and all those who suffered trauma and harm at the former residential school in Kamloops, all flags in our district will be flown at half-mast until further notice.

This horrific tragedy serves as a difficult reminder for survivors of residential schools and their families, of the hurt and intergenerational trauma they have endured. We will continue to care for our staff, students, and families in need of our support or resources, and we encourage anyone who needs additional support to reach out to their school. We must all continue to take care of each other.

As a public education institution, the Surrey School District remains committed to revealing and correcting miseducation around the shameful legacy of residential schools and the ongoing need for Truth and Reconciliation. As the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, once said, “Education got us into this mess and education will get us out of it.”

There cannot be reconciliation without truth and understanding. Our district is committed to having meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind. While these conversations on history and the impact of residential schools are taking place within our schools, we encourage families to also continue the learning at home. The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) have several resources on their site for families to learn more.

Our hearts go out to the families of the children and to all communities closely impacted. Please take a moment to reflect on this recent discovery and to reach out and support one another.”

For Support

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Mr. T

MrTSome might argue that he was the greatest actor of his generation– at least the greatest actor of his generation who had a mohawk, myriad gold chains and feather earrings.

Mr. T was my hero when I was in Grade 8, watching Clubber Lang in “Rocky III” and B.A. Baracus in “The A-Team.” Mr. T was also a big part of the massive rise of the WWF in the 1980’s and played a key role in the very first Wrestlemania.

Rumours are that Mr. T will reprise his role as Clubber Lang in the Michael B. Jordan directed “Creed III.”

Mr. T was born on this day in 1952.

Find out more:

Malcolm X

Born on this day in 1925, Malcolm Little grew up in poverty and lived a life of crime. While in prison he worked to self-educate and converted to Islam, Publicly he became known as Malcolm X, dropping what he referred to as his “slave name.” Intelligent, articulate and charismatic, Malcolm X would become one of the leading figures of the fight for equality for African-Americans. In contrast to Martin Luther King who called for non-violent protest, Malcolm X believed that violence would be necessary for black people to gain their rights. Early on he was considered to be a black-supremacist who believed that blacks and whites could never live together. However, he would eventually disavow that position, and would preach the equality of all people and express a hope for peaceful coexistence. In the years prior to his death, he began to reach out with a willingness to work with other Civil Rights groups and leaders. In particular it was after the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims, where he experienced the coming together of people of all races and backgrounds, that he embraced the possibility of peaceful change rather than inevitable violence. Tragically, he wouldn’t live long in pursuit of those dreams. He was assassinated in 1965 by members of the group he formerly led, the Nation of Islam.

For more on the life of Malcolm X: (official website of the estate of Malcolm X)

The Malcolm X Project at Columbia University

American Experience: Timeline of Malcolm X


Award Winners

Come down to the School Library to see our display of recent “Award Winners.”

The Printz Award and the Alex Awards are significant honours to consider when adding title to a secondary school library collection. The Printz Award is given for excellence in young adult literature, while the Alex Awards are given to books written for adults but that have special appeal to young adults and teens.

The Printz Award is “for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.” (ALA) The 2021 Printz Award was given to Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri. In this autobiographical novel, middle-schooler Daniel, formerly Khosrou, tells his unimpressed and at times cruel classmates about his experience as an Iranian refugee.

Printz Honors were awarded to Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth; Dragon Hoops created by Gene Luen Yang; Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh; and We Are Not Free by Traci Chee.

The Alex Awards “are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” (ALA) This year the Alex Awards were presented to the following titles:

· Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

· The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

· The Impossible First by Colin O’Brady

· Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf

· The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony

· The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

· Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth

· Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

· Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

· We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel by Quan Barry

Find out more about all the other books and authors that were honoured with these very prestigious awards in the world of youth and children’s literature: ALA Youth Media Awards.

Asian Canadians

Asia is a big place. Really big. Today nearly 2 in 3 human beings live in Asia. That’s over 4 billion people. Asia is the biggest continent by area, divided into many regions and nearly 50 different countries.

Nearly 20% of Canadians trace their family heritage to Asia. Some are recent immigrants while some families have been here for generations. Canadians of Asian descent have brought a multitude of languages, beliefs, histories and cultural practices to contribute to Canada as we know it today.

During the month of May we will be celebrating the great contributions of Canadians of Asian Heritage to the development of our country. We will also look at the many contributions of Asian culture, art, food, history and more. We will see that Asia is an incredibly diverse place and has made incredibly diverse contributions to Canada.

Come down to the School Library to see some of our titles on display for Asian Heritage Month. Here are just a few: