Remembering the children….
Red Deer Public commemorates the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with Division-wide video
Red Deer Public Schools will remember the lost children, survivors and families impacted by residential schools on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day will give time and space to reflect and learn more about the history and ongoing legacy of residential schools.
On the morning of Thursday, September 30, 11,000 students and 1,500 staff in Red Deer Public Schools will commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by watching a Division-wide video and participating in activities, lessons and projects related to truth and reconciliation.
Following the federal government’s declaration of September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and after consultation with representatives in the Indigenous community, including our partner the Red Deer Native Friendship Society, Red Deer Public Schools made the decision to remain open for an instructional day, with a focus on commemorating residential school survivors, their families and communities and honouring those who did not survive.
“In partnership with the Red Deer Native Friendship Society and local elders, it was agreed through consensus that September 30 remain as an instructional day in Red Deer Public Schools,” said Chad Erickson, Superintendent. “Our schools have a longstanding commitment to commemorating Orange Shirt Day, with many students and staff throughout the Division recognizing the day by wearing orange, as well as honouring children who attended residential schools, and remembering the children who did not survive. With students and staff in class on September 30, it will enhance the teaching, learning and understanding of residential schools and truth and reconciliation.”
As mentioned, students and staff will watch a Division-wide video, which was produced in two versions, one for elementary students and one for middle and high school students. The video includes various elements such as:
- Land recognition recited by a Red Deer Public student
- Messages from the Red Deer Native Friendship Society
- Details of the residential school that was located near Red Deer
- Information of the residential school children’s memorials at the Red Deer Cemetery
- Indigenous poem recited by Red Deer Public students
- Traditional music performed by local Indigenous drummers
- Moment of silence to remember the children who did not survive
Following the video, students will participate in grade appropriate activities, lessons and projects, which have also garnered interest of other school divisions, including those from out of province as they look to Red Deer Public for leadership in this area.