Our school will be closed tomorrow, September 30th, 2021, in observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Please be sure to take some time to consider why this is more than just a day off from school. Learn more about what “Truth and Reconciliation” means. Learn more about the history of the residential schools system and the horror of its legacy, the effects of which are still felt in Canada now and will be into the foreseeable future.
Listen to Phyllis Webstad tell her story, learn more about residential schools, the history of Orange Shirt Day, and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Education is a vital piece in the pursuit of Truth and Reconciliation. Here are links to just some of the many online resources that are available so that you can learn more.
Find out more:
- Government of Canada: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC
- Orange Shirt Society
- Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society
- Legacy of Hope
- CBC News: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
- Surrey Schools
Thursday is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in recognition of the terrible history and ongoing legacy of Residential Schools in Canada. School will be closed tomorrow, so today we observe Orange Shirt Day.
Listen, read, watch, discuss and learn about the impact of Residential Schools on Indigenous Peoples and on all of Canadian society. Encourage all Canadians to join together in the attempt to follow a path of Reconciliation.
Come down to the School Library to browse through our collection of materials related to Orange Shirt Day:
Wear an orange shirt to school on Wednesday, September 29
September 30th is Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada. Our school, most public institutions around the province, and many public institutions around the country, will be closed. At Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, we encourage all students and staff to wear an orange shirt in school on Wednesday, September 29, as well as on September 30th.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was established as the Canadian government’s formal recognition of the importance of Orange Shirt Day, observed on September 30 over most of the last decade, as part of the overall effort of raising awareness and provoking discussion about the impact of Residential Schools in Canada, and finding the path toward reconciliation.
The International Day of Peace, established by the United Nations in 1981, is observed every September 21. According to un.org:
“The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.
The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. By April 2021, over 687 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 100 countries have not received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare.”Read the rest of this statement at UN.org
Find out more about the International Day of Peace:
Yom Kippur, or the “Day of Atonement”, is the holiest day on the Jewish Calendar. For devout Jews in Canada and around the world, Yom Kippur is the most important Holiday, beyond Hanukkah or even the Passover. Many Jews will spend the entire day in fasting, praying and other observances.
In 2021 Yom Kippur begins at sundown on September 15, and ends at nightfall on September 16. (This is according to the Gregorian Calendar, while the Jewish Calendar is at year 5782.)
Find out more:
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year feast and celebration.
The Jewish Calendar is a lunar calendar, therefor the dates of Rosh Hashanah and other Jewish holidays will vary according to the Gregorian Calendar (the standard calendar used in most of the world for politics, business and daily life.) In 2021 Rosh Hashanah begins at Sundown on September 6 and ends at nightfall of September 8.
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, and a focal point of Indigenous History Month.
In 2021 we observe this day with a particular grief, as we mourn those children whose bodies were found in a mass unmarked grave at the site of a former Residential School in Kamloops. We grieve for the parents who never got to see those children come home from Residential School. We grieve for the generations of indigenous people who suffered, and still suffer, great trauma from the Residential School system. We grieve for our country, which will never be whole while the hard work of truth and reconciliation remains ahead of us.
We try at the same time, however, to use this day to celebrate the rich and beautiful lives of Indigenous people, their culture, history, art, wisdom, and more. We celebrate our First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples as Canadians. And most of all, together we celebrate our shared humanity.
Find out more:
Canada.ca: National Indigenous Peoples Day
Also known by such names as Freedom Day and Jubilee Day, Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery in the former Confederacy after the end of the American Civil War.
This year marks the first celebration of Juneteenth as an official Federal Holiday in the United States.
Juneteenth has grown to be a day that is observed in the US and around the world, as it symbolizes not only the fight against the evil that is slavery, but also the fight against racism in all its forms. Slavery finally came to end in the US in 1865, but racism lies at the heart of so many of the evils that still haunt the United States, Canada, and indeed, humanity. Current issues such as Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, and on June 19th, the establishment of Juneteenth as an official holiday, are all just part of the ongoing and centuries old struggle against racism.
Find out more about Juneteenth: