September 30th – A Day of Learning

 In Classroom Practice

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

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

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

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

We all have different plans for the day. I plan to listen to a few episodes of Still Here, Still Healing, 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 30th

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

“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 

“My plan for Sept. 30th 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, which is 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

“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

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 and is excited to share their new knowledge through group discussions and lunch and learn sessions throughout the year. 

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

Residential school victims shoes on Parliament Hill