The education sector in Sault Ste. Marie will mark Orange Shirt Day – part of National Truth and Reconciliation Week – on Friday with a host of activities and observances.
Orange Shirt Day is a recognition of the legacy of the Canadian Indigenous residential school system and a symbol of the Every Child Matters movement.
Friday marks the end of Truth and Reconciliation Week but will see the official opening of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig – SKG – on Queen Street East across from Algoma University.
SKG is a post-secondary institution that will offer Anishinaabe academic programs and workshops and also serves as home to the National Chief’s Library.
The agenda for Friday’s SKG opening can be found here.
Algoma University will mark the day with several events, including in-person tours of the former Shingwauk Residential School site, an Ontario Heritage Trust plaque unveiling at the Arthur A. Wishart Library and a Drumming and Round Dance on the university’s front lawn.
Algoma University events can be found here.
Sault College will have a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation flag raising ceremony outside of the institution’s M Wing at 10 a.m.
M Wing will also be lit up in orange.
Schools within the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board will be observing the day through the wearing of orange shirts, some of which were created from the design of St. Mary’s College student Avery Waboose, as reported earlier.
All Algoma District School Board schools and buildings will fly their flag at half mast.
Each ADSB school is asked to do a land acknowledgement in the morning before or after O Canada.
Each school in the ADSB system is asked to read a school announcement and observe a moment of silence after lunch.
“Algoma District School Board staff and students are encouraged to wear orange on September 30 or to pause for a moment to remember the solemnity of the day and as a way to remember the effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind,” wrote Joe Maurice, ADSB superintendent of well-being and Indigenous education in an email.
“In addition we have provided background information and Board-wide activities to our staff so that these can take place at every school on September 30, and have suggested resources and learning activities to support classroom and school-based learning activities for that day. Many Algoma District School Board schools have been working on activities throughout the week, leading up to the 30th. Staff are reminded that these resources can be used throughout the year, across the curriculum to support continued learning, not just for this one week or one day,” Maurice wrote.
Earlier this week, Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) students added their own personalized messages to orange T-shirts that they will wear on Friday.