Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


The first federal statutory holiday for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is tomorrow, September 30th and across our district we have been using this day as a launchpad for a week-long learning journey on our path of reconciliation.

On Monday, during our district-wide learning on our non-instructional day, Kevin Lamoureux helped us look at reconciliation differently. Kevin wisely stated that reconciliation is a gift and an opportunity given to us by the survivors of the residential school system. He helped us see how we can create spaces that honour this gift and continue on our reconciliation journey.

Yesterday, on top of all of the events taking place at schools across the district, the Board of Education and Cowichan Tribes hosted a blessing of the land at the site of the new Cowichan Secondary School. Elders, the Board, Chief and Council and invited guests from around the community gathered to bless the land and also honour the xe’xe’ smun’eem, the sacred children, who are our future.

Tomorrow, staff and students from around the district will take part in Cowichan Tribes’ ‘Every Child Matters’ March (registration starting at 8 am at VIU) in order to mark this solemn day of remembrance for the survivors of residential schools and for all of those who did not come home.

If you have not had a chance to hear the wise words of our Sul’hween (Elder) Hwul’hwul’enuhwtunaat (Dolly Sylvester) on Juice FM yet, please take a moment to listen and learn from her. Hwul’hwul’enuhwtunaat invites you to love one and other and do work on your own journey of reconciliation. You can hear Hwul’hwul’enuhwtunaat’s message here as well:


Just as important as all of that good work is the personal reconciliation journey that we are all on. Learning the hard and uncomfortable truths that many of us were taught growing up will help guide your own good work. Please, take the time this week, and especially tomorrow, to remember, reflect, and listen.