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.

source: Province of British Columbia

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.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, and a focal point of Indigenous History Month.

source: canada.ca

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

National Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month, highlighted by National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. Visit us in the school library, live or online, and join with us as we celebrate and learn more about First Nations, Inuit and Metis history.

source: canada.ca

Louis Riel Day

Today the people of British Columbia observe Louis Riel Day.  The government of BC and the Métis people of the province have expressed a “commitment to work together for the betterment of Métis people throughout British Columbia.” (source.)  As a symbol of this, the province has declared November 16 to be Louis Riel Day, in honour of the historical hero of the Métis people.

Louis Riel led the Métis in the Red River Rebellion and the North-West Rebellion of the late 19th Century. Riel was captured, tried and found guilty of treason, and was executed by the Canadian government on November 16, 1885.  Even then his death was extremely divisive. Not only did the Métis express outrage at the execution of their leader, so too did many French Canadians who saw Riel as a champion of the rights of French speakers in Canada.  In the years since his death many have come to see Riel as a hero, a symbol of resistance against the oppression of the indigenous people of this land, and as the champion of the Métis.

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