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Ideas for commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Focus on seeing the value in different ways of knowing (sometimes referred to as two-eyed seeing). I’ve put a lot of thought into how to incorporate Indigenous lessons into senior science courses. For example, one lesson parallels how both Western science ways of knowing and Indigenous ways of knowing (and ways of passing on knowledge) are valid. – Sarah Tarnowsky

I seek out opportunities to learn as I strive to become educated enough to be an ally. I recommend the free Indigenous Canada online course through the University of Alberta. It provided a good overview of background information I needed to begin bettering my understanding of history and current issues through Indigenous worldviews. I also recommend two great books by Indigenous authors: 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph and Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips, and Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph and Cynthia F. Joseph. Both are easy reads with very practical concepts and enlightening facts and perspectives to consider. – Jennie Boulanger

One activity I did with my class for National Indigenous Peoples Day in June could be easily adapted to work for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. My class worked with artist Charlene Johnny from the Quw’utsun tribes of Duncan to design templates for an art project. Charlene also gave an artist talk, gifted the templates to us, and spent a class getting started on painting the templates with us. The templates highlight art local to our area. Students completed their paintings on the templates and created a large hallway display, with credit to Charlene for her expertise, guidance, and support throughout the project. – Teodora Zamfirescu

For Orange Shirt Day, my class will read With Our Orange Hearts by Phyllis Webstad and create orange hearts to display in our classroom window. – Georgina Johnston

Additional resources


For the classroom

Resources by the BCTF Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee are the Orange Shirt Day Activities booklet, which includes a collection of books and classroom activities for elementary schools, and 215 Le Estcwicwéy: Honouring the Children Buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School, a resource focused on the history and legacy of residential schools. Both resources are available under “Classroom Resources” on bctf.ca.


For personal learning

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

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