Residential Schools

Orange Shirt Day, September 30

Orange Shirt Day is September 30 nation wide. Schools across the St. Clair Catholic District School Board are wearing Orange Shirts on September 30. Take a moment to remember those children and communities dramatically affected by the Indian Residential Schools System. Orange Shirt Day is inspired by Phyllis Jack Webstad who, on her first day at residential school in 1973, was stripped of her new orange shirt.

St. Clair Catholic District School Board Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands

We are thankful for the Creator’s gift of Mother Earth, providing everything we need for life: air, water, land, and all of Creation. We acknowledge that this land, surrounded by water, on which we are gathered today is part of the ancestral land of the Anishinaabeg and later the Lunaapeewak. Together, as treaty people, we have a shared responsibility to act with respect for the environment, protecting the future for those generations to come.

Language Pronunciations

Anishinaabeg (ah-nish-i-nah-beg)

Lunaapeewak (le-naw-powuk)







Prayer on Orange Shirt Day

Loving God

Your creation explodes with the colours of the rainbow

Your peoples reveal the beauty of diversity

We remember today when the joy and dignity of a precious child was destroyed.

We lament today for the childhoods lost through the residential school system.

We mourn for the spirits crushed and the futures compromised.

Celebrate the hope and joy of every child

Tell the stories of resistance that make us stronger

Build the bonds of solidarity to ensure “never again”

We pray for the survivors, those that never made it home, and all who are impacted. Amen

Adapted from Kairos

Recognizing Orange Shirt Day and Beginning the Year with Raising Awareness

As part of the new mandatory curriculum that includes the teaching and learning of Residential Schools in an age appropriate way, schools across St. Clair Catholic District School Board are encouraged to support and participate in this National campaign. Orange Shirt Day provides an opportunity for schools and our local First Nations communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. To connect conversations in the classroom, please use this webpage for links to resources and ideas about how to approach the conversation in the classroom before, during, and after Orange Shirt Day.

Classroom Discussions

Throughout classroom discussions, it is important to recognize that Indigenous people are not victims first. Include time to learn about the culture, the language, as well as history, traditions, and perspectives and the many resilient people who were impacted by residential schools. Please contact cortnee.goure@sccdsb.net for further information about how to raise awareness and build understanding in your school and check out this Indigenous Education SCCDSB website below for resources and links to Orange Shirt Day lesson plans for before and after this important day is recognized.


When is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day, which falls on September 30, recognizes the harm the residential school system did and is an affirmation that everyone matters. Schools and organizations across the country recognize Orange Shirt Day either on September 30 or a day of their choosing close to September 30. Schools across SCCDSB are doing the same. Sign up for the LIVE events outline below that are happening during the week of September 28 to October 2 to bring learning into the classroom.

Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. September 30 was chosen because September is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to involve the students in the process and set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying in school conversations.

MTS_OSDStories_Phyllis_ENG_2018.pdf
MTS_OSDStories_Phyllis_FRE_2018.pdf



Classroom Contest: September 8 - 23, 2020

Create a display to inform others about Orange Shirt Day on September 30 and why it is important to recognize the legacy of residential schools.

The displays are open to face to face and online classrooms. Teachers, submit a picture of your class display by September 23 to cortnee.goure@sccdsb.net and the Secondary Youth Leadership Groups will select two classes to receive a class set of Orange Shirts to wear on September 30.




Click here to view the displays submitted this year!


Sign Up for Live Events

All Grades: Register for September 22 ”The Orange Shirt Story” with Phyllis Webstad

Click here to register. Open for all ages.

Phyllis shares her story, and teaches the importance of coming together as a community by treating all people with respect. She will share the story behind the Orange Shirt and teach students that EVERY CHILD MATTERS. This will be a great way to discuss with students why they will wear Orange on September 30.

Register for Online Classroom Events for the Week of September 28 - Oct 2

Click here to register for ALL classroom events (description below) that will take place on September 28 - October 2.

A link for each session will be provided after registrations are complete.

Event registration for the grade 5 - 12 event hosted by the National Centre for Truth & Reconcilation on September 30 can be found here .

Please contact cortnee.goure@sccdsb.net if you have any questions.

September 28

Grades 5-8: Register for September 28

9:30 - 10:30

Residential School Survivior, Geraldine Robertson from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, will be sharing her residential school experience. She will be sharing her story of resilience along with time for questions from students.

The last 15 min will be used for Q & A.

If classes in grades 7 /8- 12 would like this block over the afternoon block, please register for the desired block. Registration for both blocks is available as well.

A link will be provided after registrations are complete.

Grades 5 - 12: Register for September 28

1:00 - 2:15

Cecil Isaac and Cedric Isaac, Knowledge Keepers from Bkejwanong Territory, will be leading a discussion for students in grades 5 - 12 about the legacy of residential schools and why we will be wearing Orange this week. He will talk about his family story connected to residential schools and share how his family is resilient.

The last 15 min will be used for Q & A.

If classes in grades 5 - 6/7 would like this block over the morning block, please register for the desired block. Registration for both blocks is available as well.

September 29 & 30

Grades 5-12: Register for September 29 & 30

Rhonda Snow, Northwestern Ontario Artist, will be sharing her artwork and storytelling with classes on September 29.

She will then have 2 follow up sessions (Grades 5 - 8 on September 29 and Grades 9 - 12 on September 30) as students continue to thinking about the importance of the land, reconciliation, resilience, and belonging.

September 29:

Grade 5 - 12: 9:30 - 10:30 Storytelling - Connecting with the Land

Grade 5 - 8 : 1:00 - 2:00 - Land Based Storytelling & Art Template to Paint

September 30:

Grade 9 - 12: 1:00 - 2:00 - Land Based Storytelling & Adult Colouring

Grade 7 & 8 classes may choose the September 30 session over the afternoon of September 29.

Materials needed: Template for Painting (Grades 5 - 8) or Adult Colouring Page (Grades 9 - 12) will be sent to classes that register. Classes will need to supply materials to paint or colour.

September 30

AM Grades 2 - 4: Register for September 30

9:30 - 10:30

Cecil Isaac and Cedric Isaac, Knowledge Keepers from Bkejwanong Territory, will be leading a discussion for younger students about why we are wearing Orange today. He will talk about why we remember that Residential Schools happened and the importance of belonging and inclusion. He will connect the importance of the seven grandfather teachings in our daily actions. The last 15 min will be used for Q & A.

AM Grades K - 1: Register for September 30

11:00 - 11:30

Cecil Isaac and Cedric Isaac, Knowledge Keepers from Bkejwanong Territory, will be leading a discussion for younger students about why we are wearing Orange today. He will talk about why we remember that Residential Schools happened and the importance of belonging and inclusion. He will connect the importance of the seven grandfather teachings in our daily actions.

PM Grades 1 - 4: Register for September 30

1:00 - 2:15

Moses Lunham, artist and storyteller from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, will be leading a reflection and art lesson with students to think about the importance of recognizing Orange Shirt Day and remembering that EVERY CHILD MATTERS.

Materials needed: White Card Stock (heavy paper); Paint (red, yellow, white, black), Paint Brushes (small/medium)

(classes may also choose to use canvas)

Grades 5-12: Register for September 30

Click here to register. Open for grades 5 - 12.

Recognize Orange Shirt Day with this virtual event hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation that provides an opportunity to learn first hand from Residential School Survivors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists and leaders from nations and cultures across the country. Educators can select the events and times they wish to livestream for their students and download free educational resources.

This event must be pre-registered through this link.

October 1

Grades 7-12: Register for October 1

9:30 - 10:55

Spots have been reserved to sign up for a virtual tour with the Woodland Cultural Centre. Click here to sign up.

  • Introduction by Woodland Cultural Centre Education Coordinator (15 minutes)

  • Virtual Tour of the Mohawk Institute Residential School (45 minutes)

  • Survivor Speaker Testimonials (20 minutes)

  • Q & A session (30 minutes)

  • Home Study Resource package including activities to prepare your class for participation, follow up activities and further list of resources to for use with students and as background

Limited spots available.

Grades 7/8 - 12: Register for October 1

EVENING SESSION 7:30 - 8:30

Moses Lunham, artist and storyteller from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, will be leading a reflection and art lesson with students to think about the importance of ReconciliACTION, themes of belonging and inclusion and rising above.

Materials needed: White Card Stock (heavy paper) or Canvas; Paint (red, yellow, white, black), Paint Brushes (small/medium)

Register here for this session

October 2

Grades 5 - 12: Register for October 2

9:30 - 10:45

Moses Lunham, artist and storyteller from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, will be leading a reflection and art lesson with students to think about the importance of ReconciliACTION, themes of belonging and inclusion and rising above.

Materials needed: White Card Stock (heavy paper); Paint (red, yellow, white, black), Paint Brushes (small/medium)

(classes may also choose to use canvas)


Resources to Support Classroom Learning

St. Clair Catholic District School Board Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands

We are thankful for the Creator’s gift of Mother Earth, providing everything we need for life: air, water, land, and all of Creation. We acknowledge that this land, surrounded by water, on which we are gathered today is part of the ancestral land of the Anishinaabeg and the Lunaapeewak. Together, as treaty people, we have a shared responsibility to act with respect for the environment, protecting the future for those generations to come.

Language Pronunciations

Anishinaabeg (ah-nish-i-nah-beg)

Lunaapeewak (le-naw-powuk)







Prayer on Orange Shirt Day

Loving God

Your creation explodes with the colours of the rainbow

Your peoples reveal the beauty of diversity

We remember today when the joy and dignity of a precious child was destroyed.

We lament today for the childhoods lost through the residential school system.

We mourn for the spirits crushed and the futures compromised.

Celebrate the hope and joy of every child

Tell the stories of resistance that make us stronger

Build the bonds of solidarity to ensure “never again”

We pray for the survivors, those that never made it home, and all who are impacted. Amen

Adapted from Kairos

"Orange Shirt Day provides all Canadians with an opportunity to come together in a collective act of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come."

Classroom Learning Resources

EveryChildMattersENDigital.pdf
EduEveryChildMattersEdGuideEN.pdf
ECM_Digest_French_Digital_.pdf

Phyllis Webstad shares her story in a child-friendly, easy to follow way. The background in the video changes to show traditional way of life vs life in residential school.

  1. Discuss: What makes you, you? Who and what things, stories or traditions would you say are important to you? What do you have that reminds you of - or helps you feel close to - your favourite place and favourite people?
    (Remind students that all people have arts, stories, histories, etc. that are important and help us feel included, and make us unique and special.)

  2. Visit the Orange Shirt Day website, read the first two paragraphs and the "Today" section of Phyllis’ story. Help students connect to her by sharing her photographs with students.

  3. Watch the local documentary "We Are Still Here" (below) and reflect about each of the stories. Ask students what impacted them most. How have their ideas changed after watching the documentary.

  4. Visit the residential schools interactive map (below). Find out the location of residential schools. Investigate how far the residential schools would have been away from the families of the students that attended. Discuss what impact this made.

  5. Invite students to connect with Phyllis' story: What did having her orange shirt taken away mean to her? What does the shirt symbolize for her? Why do you think Phyllis shared this story? What sorts of things do people say and do to make others feel they don't belong? that they do belong? What can we do today to let survivors know that we've listened and are learning from their stories?

  6. Ask students to create a response (i.e. a letter, a card, an art work) to their learning about the stories of residential schools and share that response with a survivor or a family member of a survivor. (contact cortnee.goure@sccdsb.net to share)

  7. Share a Survivor's Story... Aloud and In Person Bring the stories, words and emotions to life in your classroom, virtually, at an assembly or at a flashmob teach-in in the halls with a Reader's Theatre or Found Poetry performance. These strategies help students and audiences to connect with the emotions articulated. Follow the performance by share who Phyllis Webstad or other survivor's are today; their story is one of victimhood as a child, but it is also one of healing, defiance, and courage. Honouring the whole being means honouring the whole story.

adapted from: https://facingcanada.facinghistory.org/orange-shirt-day & https://facingcanada.facinghistory.org/activities-for-orange-shirt-day?s=03 (questions modified to include a local connection)

MTS_OSDStories_Phyllis_ENG_2018.pdf
MTS_OSDStories_Phyllis_FRE_2018.pdf

Local Documentaries

We Are Still Here - Local Documentary

"We Are Still Here" documentary features three local women from Bkejwanong Territory, also known as Walpole Island First Nation, and Aamjiwnaang First Nation. The three elders share their memories of surviving residential schools.

Trailer

Full Version

Aftershock - Local Documentary

"Aftershock" documentary features the children of the three local women from Bkejwanong Territory, also known as Walpole Island First Nation, and Aamjiwnaang First Nation. This is the story of the next generation of the three elders who shared their memories of surviving residential schools in the "We Are Still Here" documentary.

Aftershock 10min version.mp4

Aftershock (10 min Version)

Aftershock 40 min.mp4

Aftershock (Full Version)

We Are Still Here and Aftershock (Combined) Documentary

This documentary is a combined documentary of the two above films, capturing the essence of both films with the generation that attended residential schools and the intergenerational trauma.

Interactive Map

On September 30, 2020, Canadian Geographic shared an exciting new website that focuses on residential schools that were not officially recognized in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Along with an interactive map, there is a teacher’s guide and lesson plans that explore three survivors’ stories. All Canadians are encouraged to reflect on their knowledge of residential schools in Canada and join us in the path to reconciliation by expanding the knowledge of this topic in schools.

New Books for the Classroom in Your School

All Grade Levels

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith

Junior/Intermediate Classes

Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith

Speaking-Our-Truth-Teachers-Guide.pdf

Speaking Our Truth Teacher's Guide

Intermediate/Senior Classes

Use this folder for an updated and complete list and links to current resources in your school.

Texts in Schools

Online Resources

ResidentialSchools_English.pdf
Residential_Schools_Worksheets_FINAL.pdf
ResidentialSchools_French.pdf
FR_basic_5Ws_chart.pdf
eBook.pdf

Use tiles as a reflection tool and commemoration exhibit to honor those who attended Residential Schools and their families. Click on the title above / image below and the pdf beside to view classroom/school ideas.


Project of Heart Resource Booklet (1).pdf
BB_Lev.1.pdf
BB_Lev.2.pdf
bdp_niv.1.no.1.pdf
bdp_niv.2_no.1.pdf

What Can I Contribute to Meaningful Reconciliation? Teaching and Learning About Residential Schools Unit

This a unit that explores the causes and consequences of residential schools in Canada. Developed in collaboration with Grand Erie District School Board, Six Nations of the Grand River’s Education Department, and the Mississaugas of New Credit, this resource supports educators and learners in using a critical-inquiry approach to develop deep understandings of some of the complex, challenging, and painful events that have affected the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. This resource invites thoughtful and reflective explorations that move us beyond understanding the past and into our roles and responsibilities in the present. Through a learning journey where carefully considered decisions and empathic engagements are nurtured, learners are encouraged to develop genuine commitments and engage in meaningful actions that contribute to reconciliation. Designed for grade six and up, the fully-developed lessons include briefing sheets, image sets, suggested resources, and blackline masters to support student thinking and learning about reconciliation.

meaningful_reconciliation.pdf

You Hold Me Up, read by author Monique Gray Smith

What Does Truth, Reconciliation, and Hope Mean to You?

The following three videos, entitled "Truth", "Reconciliation" and "Hope" include intimate interviews with residential school survivors, indigenous youth and leaders in education and politics. They're an excellent tool to spark discussion about this troubling history as well as how we can build a better future.

Timeline

The Secret Path

Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Canadian band, The Tragically Hip, is bringing attention to one of the most haunting legacies in our country's history - the residential school system and the children and families who were affected by it all. Downie released a multimedia project called The Secret Path, which consists of an album with 10 new songs, and a graphic novel by Jeff Lemire. The project is devoted to sharing the story of 12 year old Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinabe boy who died from hunger and exposure after escaping from his residential school to try and find his way home.

The Secret Path - CBC Arts

Poetry

I Lost My Talk is based on the poem by Mi'kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe, C.M. Rita Joe penned her poem to express not only the pain and suffering she experienced at Schubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia, but also her hope and conviction that her words could guide and inspire indigenous and non-indigenous peoples across Canada to journey to a place of strength and healing.

I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe

ILOSTMYTALK_OSD-RitaJoe.pdf
MTS_OSDStories_I_Lost_My_Talk_FRE_2018.pdf

Rosanna Deerchild shares her mother's residential school story.


Additional Videos & Documentaries

Historica Canada

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Although the first residential facilities were established in New France, the term usually refers to the custodial schools established after 1880. Originally conceived by Christian churches and the Canadian government as an attempt to both educate and convert Indigenous youth and to integrate them into Canadian society, residential schools disrupted lives and communities, causing long-term problems among Indigenous peoples. Since the last residential school closed in 1996, former students have pressed for recognition and restitution, resulting in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in 2007 and a formal public apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008. In total, an estimated 150,000 First Nation, Inuit, and Métis children attended residential schools.

Clouds of Autumn

This film focuses on a young Indigenous boy named William and his older sister Shayl whose carefree childhoods are torn apart when Shayl is forced to attend a residential school. Singular visual interpretations infuse co-director Trevor Mack’s family history with a slowly shifting tone that evokes loss and love.

The Métis Residential School Experience

The Inuit Residential School Experience

Cultural Mindfulness

"Everyone has a story. The first step towards understanding other people is learning about their past. George Couchie takes us through some of his Indigenous culture and history, educating us about the impacts of residential schools. Inspiring youth Angel Armstrong, Mckenzie Ottereyes Eagle, and Miigwan Buswa share their connection to the past and show us how they are stopping those negative cycles by embracing culture.


Planning Resources

Resource Folder

This resource folder contains the files in connection with residential schools and recognizing the legacy of residential schools before, during, and after Orange Shirt Day. Click on this folder to expand.


SCCDSB Student Learning




















Grade 7/8 students at Holy Family Catholic School presented a play to the community to honor residential school survivors and commemorate Orange Shirt Day in their school.








The Secondary Student Leadership Group at St. Patrick's Sarnia host a live stream interview with residential school survivor Susie Jones baa for all classrooms across the school on the first day of a week-long recognition of the legacy of residential schools.





Grade 7/8 students Holy Trinity Catholic school create a presentation to raise awareness and sew hearts that include a message with calls to action towards reconciliation.

Grade 8 students at Holy Trinity Catholic School create a presentation to share their learning about the legacy of residential schools for Orange Shirt Day.

Kidwin Zhingwaak trailer 2019

The UCC Youth Leadership Group, Kidwin Zhingwaak, share their reflections and are creating their own documentary!