Updated: Sep 29
Students learn about Indigenous history and answering God’s call for justice and healing.
This week, ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, students at Nanaimo Christian School have been learning about a dark part of Canada's past and engaging in thought-provoking activities. At Thursday's all-school assembly students watched the Cowichan Tzinquaw Dancers and had the privilege of learning more about the Indigenous tradition of dance. On Friday students will wear orange shirts and tie orange ribbons to the school fence to remember the Indigenous children who lost their lives in residential schools.
Students took the first 20-30 minutes of each day this week to listen to Indigenous stories, learn, and engage in various activities. Through discussion they raised questions, explored different perspectives, and dealt with the emotions that arose. They also learned about Beyond 94, a resource that monitors progress on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
Students read Indigenous stories and wrestled with the impact of residential schools. Books they read included:
- Shi-Shi Etko by Nicola I. Campbell
- Shin-Chi's Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell
- Secret of the Dance by Alfred Scow and Andrea Spalding
In Kindergarten and Grade 1/2 students read Phyllis' Orange Shirt by Phyllis Webstad, the true story that inspired the movement of Orange Shirt Day. Grade 3-5 students read the book Stolen Words, a gentle book for all ages. Students also each created small orange shirts on paper and wrote messages: “Every Child Matters,” “I will speak kind words,” “I will learn the truth.” These small shirts were then displayed as one large shirt on each classroom window.
Our NCS orange shirts were designed by William Good, a Coast Salish artist who is also an NCS grandparent. We're blessed that he and his family are part of our NCS community!