On Friday, September 3, 2021, the Province of Nova Scotia announced it will recognize September 30th annually as Truth and Reconciliation Day. All SSRCE schools and offices will be closed on September 30th. The purpose of this new statutory holiday is to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis Survivors and their families and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of our history and the harm caused by residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process. We ask all our students and staff to take time to reflect on the significance of this day.
We will observe Truth and Reconciliation Day in our schools on September 29th. This will be a time for observance, education, and reflection, and give an opportunity for our students to understand the significance of this day. Orange Shirt Day will also be part of this observance. Students and staff can wear orange as one way to honour Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada.
It’s important we make the distinction between Truth and Reconciliation Day and Treaty Day, which takes place each year on October 1st. Treaty Day is a day of celebration, honouring the relationship and the important contribution of the Mi’kmaq People in Nova Scotia. This day is both the end of Reconciliation Week and the first of Mi’kmaw History Month. Our schools will celebrate and acknowledge Treaty Day on October 1st.
While observing both Truth and Reconciliation Day and Treaty Day gives us a timely reason to reflect, we have a responsibility to continue these conversations each and every day. To this end, Treaty Education is embedded in the curriculum of every grade level and in various disciplines such as language arts, science, visual arts, music, and social studies. Treaty Education allows for each grade level to learn about the Mi’kmaq, treaties, relationships, and reconciliation.
As highlighted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), there are 94 calls to action under the subsection for Education. This is a critical entity for us as Treaty People to focus on our path forward to Reconciling our shared history. Please see the following resources for further opportunities of learning:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/truth-and-reconciliation-week-tickets-153491752965 (Free registration)
Regional Executive Director
South Shore Regional Centre for Education