We started our Week of Reconciliatory Action on Tuesday, November 12 with an awareness fair in the Lodge. Students and staff had the opportunity to hear from fellow students on a variety of topics, including how Indigenous communities have been affected by climate change and the long-lasting repercussions of the residential school program. There were several booths set up around the Lodge and it was a great learning opportunity to kickstart our week of reconciliation.
Students and staff were also encouraged to wear orange shirts and walk to school on Thursday, November 10. Wearing orange shirts was a way to show our commitment to commemorating the residential school experience and to honour the fact that every child matters. Students accepted donations in the morning for the Orange Shirt Society, a not-for-profit organization that creates awareness for Indigenous Reconciliation.
We also had many staff and students walk to school to acknowledge the work of Indigenous Peoples in preserving and protecting our environment.
On Friday, November 15 we welcomed Shane McLeod from the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. Shane spoke to staff and students about his journey through life and how he taught himself and his children about his culture. He also taught us about the four sacred medicines (tobacco, cedar, sage, and sweetgrass) and showed us how he uses them to smudge.
Although our Week of Reconciliatory Action is over, we will continue to acknowledge and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples.