Updated: Oct 5, 2021
What does 'reconciliation' really mean? NCS explores Indigenous history and answers God's call for justice and healing.
This week Nanaimo Christian School takes part in Canada's National Truth and Reconciliation Week. Students are learning about the truth of the past -- what happened to the First Nations people of Canada -- and moving toward healing and mutually respectful relationships in the future. We are grateful for all of the local Snuneymuxw elders and friends who helped open our hearts and minds this week. Some of the week's activities include:
Monday -- Land, Treaties and Unceded Territories. Students joined in circle discussions and answered the questions: What is your favourite place to be? Why is it important to you? We talked about what 'unceded territory' means. We learned about treaties and the value of land acknowledgements.
Tuesday -- Language & Culture. We read the story “Sharing our World" about how the Ancestors of the first people lived in harmony with the animals and honoured each animal’s special gifts. We talked about how God made each one of us unique and beautiful; and how He gave us our own special gifts and talents. We celebrated our differences.
Wednesday -- Orange Shirt Day.* Students responded to the prompt "Reconciliation means..." with a personal action statement following various grade-level activities. They will write on feather templates designed by Joel Good, an uncle of some of our Indigenous students. These feathers will be laminated and hung up around the courtyard on display for our community.
Thursday -- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (No school for students and staff.) You are invited to attend the local event at Maffeo Sutton Park 10am - 2pm to honour the children and recognize the day of reflection for Truth and Reconciliation in our community.
Friday -- Pro D Day. Staff will gather for a Blanket Ceremony (led by Snuneymuxw Elder, Deborah Good) and lunch, provided by Snuneymuxw First Nations - seafood chowder and scow bread.
* Why we wear orange shirts
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis’s account of losing her shiny new orange shirt on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and community agencies to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. (Read more: www.orangeshirtday.org)