Ontario has an Indigenous Education Strategy to support students who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit. Within Avon Maitland District School Board we uphold the mandates provided from the Ministry of Education to ensure students are reaching their full potential. We also provide educators with professional learning to support the Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action are being met. We strive to engage our local community to support us in this work through our Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, welcoming Indigenous speakers into our classrooms and schools and connecting our students with the history and current commitments in our Treaty Relationships.
Monique Pregent, Indigenous Education Lead
Avon Maitland District School Board’s Acknowledgement of Traditional Lands:
"We acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the Anishinaabe Peoples. We wish to recognize the long history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and show our respect to them today. We recognize their stewardship of the land; may we all live with respect on this land and live in peace and friendship."
Days of Recognition
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) | September 30th
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (also known as Orange Shirt Day) is a day to recognize and remember the victims of Canada’s Residential Schools. Actively participating in this day is an essential part of AMDSB’s equity commitment.
In light of the initial #215 graves of Residential School Survivors, Orange Shirt Day gained momentum in 2021. As of November 2021, more than 7310 graves have been uncovered within the grounds of residential schools across Canada.
September 30th has been adopted federally as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and will be observed by all federal employee groups in Canada. Ontario has chosen not to make it a provincial holiday, giving us the opportunity to commemorate the day in our schools and buildings.
Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis Webstad's story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.
The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.
For more information and resources visit: the Orange Shirt Day website at orangeshirtday.org.
Treaties Recognition Week | First Week in November
“The Treaties Recognition Week Act, 2016 is the first legislation of its kind in Canada. Treaties Recognition Week will provide a recurring opportunity for teachers to plan learning activities about treaties during the school year.
Treaties Recognition Week is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects Ontario’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.” (news.ontario.ca, 2016)
For more information please visit the Treaties page on the Ontario.ca website.
Louis Riel Day | November 16
National Indigenous Peoples Day | June 21st
‘This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Indigenous peoples.
Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous Peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.’ – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
You can visit the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada for more information.