September 30th – A Day of Learning

 In Classroom Practice

Earlier this year, the Government of Canada passed legislation to make September 30 a federal holiday. It is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Federal public employees have the day off work to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools in Canada. Furthermore, it is a learning opportunity.

Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

At Learning Bird, we are committed to Truth and Reconciliation. We support all Canadians having a day of reflection. It is important to honour the children lost to the residential school system. Canadians must reflect on the ongoing intergenerational impact of residential schooling on Indigenous families and communities. 

Annual Day of Learning

However, we believe true reconciliation can only come after truth. To get to a place of truth, we all have to do a lot of learning and unlearning. That is why we have decided as a team to make September 30 an annual day of learning at Learning Bird. 

Each year, we will set aside September 30 for team members to further their knowledge about truth and reconciliation topics. Every team member is in a different place on their learning journey. We are not prescribing activities or tasks for our staff to participate in. Team members can read, take a course, listen to podcasts, or watch documentaries. They can play a game, attend an in-person or virtual event, or participate in community ceremonies. The goal is to provide them with time to explore, learn, connect, and reflect. 

Our Plans for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

We all have different plans for the day. I plan to listen to a few episodes of Still Here, Still Healing. It’s a podcast hosted by Learning Bird Alumni Jade Roberts and jump ahead a few weeks in my Indigenous Canada Course from the University of Alberta

Here’s what other team members are looking forward to learning or doing on September 30. 

Virtual Truth and Reconciliation Week Events

“I plan to attend and bring my students to some of the virtual Truth and Reconciliation Week events hosted by the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). I am looking forward to the event Beyond Orange Shirt Day. I hope the community will be able to gather to mark the day safely.” – Hannah Arseneau-Daniels, Instructional Designer at Learning Bird and part-time educator at Mezi Community School in Wha Ti, NWT

Indigenous Canada Course

“I will continue taking the Indigenous Canada Course from the University of Alberta. I am over halfway through the 12-week course, and it has been very enlightening to learn more about Canadian history from an Indigenous worldview.” – Henry Ryan, Chief Executive Officer

Aboriginal Worldviews and Education Course

“My plan for September 30 is to revisit a course I took in my post-grad from my favourite professor and friend, Jean-Paul Restoule. The course is Aboriginal Worldviews and Education at the University of Toronto, now offered as a free course via Coursera. I also plan to rent We Were Children from the NFB, a film directed by Tim Wolochatiuk.” – Ashley Hamilton, Education Specialist

Pîkiskwêtân Indigenous Directions Learning Series

“I’m planning to dive into the Companion Resource Guides for a new learning series Concordia University has introduced called the Pîkiskwêtân Indigenous Directions Learning Series. These guides link to books, articles, and University resources that contain a lot of information.” – Rebecca Smith, Education Projects Coordinator

Sharing Our Learning

We’ve shared a list of events, activities, recommended media, and learning opportunities with the team. We have encouraged everyone to add to this list as they discover new and interesting resources. 

Our team is looking forward to their day of exploration and learning. We are excited to share our knowledge through group discussions and lunch and learn sessions throughout the year. 

How will you be spending your day on September 30? Drop us an email to let us know. 

Residential school victims shoes on Parliament Hill