St. Charles College

National Truth & Reconciliation Week 2022

At Sudbury Catholic Schools, we are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive, and equitable community. This year, our community has been working hard in preparation for the 2022 Truth and Reconciliation Week – a five-day commemoration taking place from Monday, September 26th to Friday, September 30th. In between the personal activities being planned by our schools, we’re pleased to share that Sudbury Catholic’s Indigenous Education team has curated resources and materials to help students, staff, and community members commemorate this important week! 

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Activities 

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation offers a series of opportunities for classrooms to participate in events throughout the week of September 26 to September 30. More information and registration links can be found at: https://nctr.ca/education/trw/   

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The NCTR is the foundation for ongoing learning and research. Survivors, their families, educators, researchers, and the public can examine the residential school system to foster reconciliation and healing. 

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION WEEK 2022 is a national program open to all schools across CanadaThe theme of this year’s week is Remembering the Children. Students will learn about the residential school system’s history and memorialize the lost children. Several Sudbury Catholic schools will participate in activities and educational sessions planned by the NCTR. 

  • This year includes an expanded program with age-appropriate material for students in Grades 1 through 12.
  • Days 1 to 3 features pre-recorded videos and a live Q & A session. On September 30, students can view a live televised broadcast for Orange Shirt Day from their classrooms.
  • All sessions will be held virtually on Hubilo.

Nelson Professional Learning series also offers educators the opportunity to deepen their knowledge through a series of free webinars entitled The Whole Truth About Residential Schools. This series is about learning and teaching the history of Indian Residential Schools in Canada. 

Truth, Resiliency and Hope Event 

Schools are invited to attend the Truth, Resiliency and Hope event planned by the Indigenous Community Collective. This event is occurring at Bell Park in Sudbury on September 30. At this gathering, attendees can commemorate survivors of Residential schools and acknowledge their resiliency. The event will begin with a sunrise ceremony and opening remarks. Later, a play entitled Debwewin (Truth) and a short video screening will premiere, and the event will finish with a Q & A session. 

Indigenous Community Collective – NDTR Event Poster

School Invitation

Event Agenda

Walk for Reconciliation

Board members at the Central Board Office are invited to attend the Walk for Reconciliation on September 30, 2022. This joint community event begins at N’Swakamok Friendship Centre (110 Elm Street). The group will then walk together to Bell Park, where they will attend the opening of the Truth, Resiliency and Hope event. 

Orange Shirt Day in Honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On September 30, we will join schools across Canada to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada. We are reminded that Orange Shirt Day also offers an opportunity to honour and pray for those who never made it home. Our schools are encouraged to post to social media and utilize the hangtags #orangeshirtday and #sudburycdsb to allow our board to see these activities in action. 

Available Support

In addition to the activities listed on this post, we recognize that each of our schools will be finding unique and creative ways to observe and honour this time. These events and activities may differ, but support is always provided. As we are reminded that this can be a difficult topic for many students, staff and families and should be taught with deep respect. For those who require support, there is help available through these contacts below: 

Health Support Information: 

If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 

Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419

SCDSB Partners With Akinoomoshin Inc and Great Lakes Cultural Camp for Earth-Based Learning Program!

A New Summer Program Running from July 11-29th for Indigenous Youth at Sudbury Catholic Focuses on Building Traditional Knowledge in the community of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. 

This summer, Indigenous students from Sudbury Catholic Schools will participate in an exciting program as they participate in a new Earth-Based Learning course. This course is a unique summer program involving an exciting partnership with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, Great Lakes Cultural Camps, Akinoomoshin Inc and Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. 

The Board revealed the new program in the spring and were ecstatic to see the high level of interest. In only a matter of weeks, the program, which is the first of its kind for Sudbury Catholic District School Board, quickly filled up with eager participants.

Taking place in the community of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, the course was offered for Indigenous students moving from grade 8 to grade 9 and grade 9 moving to grade 10. Students will attend the sacred grounds every Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for an educational experience that provides special opportunities to explore and strengthen Anishinaabe identity through cultural place-based learning, allowing students to earn a high school credit while learning from the land. 

To help celebrate and honour the program’s official start last Monday, we provide a glimpse into the instructive hands-on learning activities students have participated in during their first week!

WEEK 1 ACTIVITIES

Monday & Tuesday

On days 1 and 2 of the Earth-Based Learning Program, students helped to build the teaching lodge, harvest and clean sweet grass, and also enjoyed taking time to connect to the Earth. Students were also taught a brief account of the community’s story and the area they are learning. This fantastic lesson was presented by anishinaabemwid, Lorney Bob. 

Wednesday

On day 3, Earth-Based Learning students took the water at Bell Park to complete their swim tests. All students completed their tests successfully and will be ready for the upcoming activities taking place over the next few weeks. 

Thursday

On day 4, students had fun learning about the sustainable harvesting of materials. Taking what they learned into practice, students then had the opportunity to make their own wiigwas basket. Wiigwaas is the anishinaabemowin word for birch bark, a textile traditionally used to make baskets, canoes, shelters, etc. 

Friday

On day 5, students took advantage of the beautiful weather and set off on a hike to Pigeon Mountain. The group was accompanied by Lornie Bob and Papa Art Petahtegoose, who shared stories along the way, making for an even richer learning experience. On their trek, students visited the spring water, spent time reflecting, and enjoyed lunch as they admired the breathtaking natural scenery. It was a great trip and the perfect end to the program’s first week!

Our goal is to help students build relationships with the land, the water and each other. We are ecstatic we can provide this meaningful opportunity as it supports earth-based learning and shares traditional knowledge and practices that each of these students will value and carry with them throughout their lives. We already see students’ developing connections and coming out of their shells. Chi miigwech to the community and all those supporting our young learners. We look forward to continuing to follow their journeys as they form meaningful bonds with their environment and discover and connect themselves to the Earth.” – Ginette Toivenen, Indigenous Education Lead for Sudbury Catholic District School Board 

The course is designed to spark curiosity and create awareness of stewardship initiatives in the Great Lakes, Anishinaabe Food Systems, practices and kendaasowin (learning) on the land. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the social, cultural, economic, and political developments of First Nations, Metis and Inuit individuals and communities. The learning will include history from precontact to the present day through a hands-on approach to learning. This will be a land-based opportunity that will encourage fun and laughter throughout the learning. 

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board aspires that this program will help students form greater connections to the land while nurturing spirituality and values in an environment where they can share traditional knowledge. We look forward to seeing this program in action over the following weeks and wish our students the best of luck and fun in their learning! 

To see what other activities are happening, check out our SCDSB Indigenous Education Facebook page!

Sudbury Catholic District School Board Lowers Flags in Honour of BC Residential School Victims

Graphic

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board joins communities across Canada in honouring and praying for the 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk-emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory. 

To honour their lives, flags at all SCDSB schools and board buildings will be lowered for nine days (May 31-June 8) – a total of 215 hours to represent each of the 215 children. As a sign of our collective mourning, the Board will also be participating in the National moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. today as we honour and acknowledge the children who never returned home.

“Today, we honour the lives of the 215 Indigenous children who will not be coming home. It is a heartbreaking tragedy and while there are no words to truly express the deep mourning those impacted are experiencing, we humbly offer our prayers that they and their families will find healing. We also acknowledge the pain and trauma this brings to all Indigenous peoples across the country, and we recognize the need for ongoing truth and reconciliation. May God continue to watch over the 215 souls and their families,” said Michael Bellmore, Chair of the Board of the Trustees for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board.

“All Sudbury Catholic District School Boards schools and facilities are standing in solidarity with communities across Canada in honouring the 215 Indigenous children. While it is indeed an unspeakable tragedy, we send continued prayers and healing to all those affected and to the Indigenous communities in the Sudbury area and across the country. We have lowered all flags for 215 hours and will join the National moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. As a system, we are also wearing orange shirts on Wednesday, June 2 and will unite in a collective prayer service as a reminder that every child matters,” said Joanne Bénard, Director of Education for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board.

Every Child Matters: Sudbury Catholic Schools Honours Orange Shirt Day

Logo drawing

Staff and students throughout the Sudbury Catholic District School Board joined hundreds of others across Canada by participating in Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

By wearing orange shirts, we recognize the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being and it serves as a symbol of our commitment to reconciliation. Since it began in 2013, the phrase “Every Child Matters” has been used as part of the movement to recognize the value of every child and for communities to come together.

“The Sudbury Catholic District School Board firmly believes that every child matters and as such we will continue to honour Orange Shirt Day year after year,” said Joanne Bénard, Director of Education. “We are committed to Truth and Reconciliation and we strive to find opportunities for our staff and students to come together in support of intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.”

Honouring Reconciliation: Sudbury Catholic Schools Participate in Orange Shirt Day

A group of girls wear their orange shirts and stand in a line.

Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. Orange Shirt Day recognizes the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being, and is an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters.

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board participated in Orange Shirt Day on September 30, 2019. Staff and students throughout the system participated by wearing these shirts or their favourite orange shirt as a reminder of the importance of this day.

St. Charles College Honours Treaty Relationship

In honouring the significance of treaties and the treaty relationship, we have two students helping to raise a special flag in our front foyer. Madison Solomon and Hannah Morningstar are both descendants of Chief Shawenekezhik, a signatory to the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. In raising the flag with Madison and Hannah, we would like to acknowledge that we are in the Robinson Huron Treaty territory. St. Charles College also acknowledges this treaty relationship on our announcements every morning.

St. Charles College student Dana Lewis was crowned Miss Wikwemkoong

St. Charles College Student Dana Lewis was crowned Miss Wiikwemkoong during the Wiikwemkoong Cultural Festival in August. Dana, who is the goalie for the St. Charles College Girls Hockey team used her hockey skills in the talent portion of the pageant. She also won first place in the biography portion helping her to earn her Crown. Dana stated that she is very excited and honoured to represent her community at various events, celebrations and pow wows as Miss Wiikwemkoong. She was invited to speak about the missing and murdered Indigenous Women at the Sisters in Spirit Conference in October.

In Dana’s biography she wrote: “Giving back to the community is a big part of who I am. At a young age I was provided with the teachings and knowledge for sewing and over the past years I started teaching young girls ages 7-12 how to sew. I facilitate many workshops showing the youth how to make their own regalia, hand drum bags, ribbon skirts. By teaching these youth, I’m passing down my knowledge of our culture for the next generation. I believe that we should be encouraging our next generations to continue with these teachings so they can teach the next ones. This is who I am, a daughter, sister, auntie, teammate, role model, teacher. I believe that becoming a leader takes time, and that Miss Wiikwemikoong will provide me with the experience to one day be a strong leader for my community, my people, my nation.”

St. Charles College is proud and honoured to celebrate Dana’s triumph with her, her family and community.

St.Charles College Hosts First Ever Powwow!

St. Charles College hosted their first ever powwow in honour of Indigenous Education Week! Powwows are traditionally a gathering of Indigenous Peoples to come together and celebrate with song, dance, food and storytelling.

Many students, teachers and community members from a variety of Sudbury Catholic Schools gathered together on St. Charles College’s football field to participate in traditional dancing and music and feasted on Indigenous inspired cuisine. The students loved the opportunity to learn and celebrate this culture!

SCC student to be the face of the North American Indigenous Games

Grade 10 student Hannah Morningstar is about to be the “face of Naig”. NAIG is the North American Indigenous Games and she will be featured on posters and banners to promote the event in Toronto this summer.

Hannah will be in Toronto tomorrow to see the pictures taken last year as part of a news conference for the games. She has participated in the games in 2014 as a track and field athlete. This time, she is hoping to qualify for track or volleyball. The tryouts are taking place right now.

This semester, Hannah is taking Indigenous Studies. She beams with pride when talking about representing her country and culture. “This is such an honour” she says.

The games being held in July will bring more than four thousand athletes to Toronto.

Dancing under the sun

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board hosted a secondary Powwow on June 1st 2016 at St. Benedict School. This was an opportunity for our Indigenous community to share their culture with non-Indigenous community members. Some of the dancers at the Powwow were secondary school students who attend our schools. It was exciting for our participants to see the dancers. Students were also able to share their culture and the style of dance. Those who partook in this event were able to celebrate Indigenous tradition and culture.

Through SCDSB we integrate First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, history and perspectives in our curriculum. As an indigenous support worker we try to bridge gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Having a celebration like this brings people together.

The Pow wow celebration was our first this year for our Catholic secondary schools. Many of those who attended the Powwow have never experienced a cultural activity such as this. It is with hope that with the continued support of secondary staff we can strive for more exposure of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Culture. Our students and faculty were given the opportunity to see dancers in full regalia. The students shared songs and the drumming was breathtaking Miigwetch.

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