How to get involved in National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Windsor

Students at Academie Ste-Cecile were given the opportunity to learn about truth and reconciliation thanks to a visit from Carrie Ann Peters, cultural and language coordinator with the Caldwell First Nations.

“A lot of the teachers really want that perspective from a First Nations person so a lot of the schools have me come in and speak to those things that they’re learning,” says Peters.

Teacher Nancy Pancheshan helped bring Peters to the school, saying, “It’s important for the children to learn to make Canada a better place to be.”

As Canada gets set to mark the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, students have spent the past week learning the importance of honoring the survivors, as well as the children who didn’t return home from residential schools.

“We learned about why the Orange Shirt Day exists and we all get to wear our orange shirt to help raise awareness for Truth and Reconciliation Day,” says Jhanvi Maraj.

Pancheshan learned a lot from Peters during the visit that delved into the sensitive subject, telling CTV News Windsor. “We kind of went into the darker side of the Indian Act, the residential schools and the treaties that Canada made that we didn’t honor. It’s important to reconcile.”

Student Jineanne Alami adds, “People should be wearing their orange shirts and telling other people their stories and letting the world know about it.”

Peters is happy National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is recognized, but feels students would benefit from schools having the day off as well.

“So that they can actually join in what the First Nations are doing that day so they can come out and can learn even more,” she says.

There are learning opportunities across the Windsor, Ont. region.

John R. Park Homestead launched an exhibit called 21 Truths Wednesday that runs until mid-October.

“I think people are sensitive to the subject matter and the somber tone but are leaving feeling somewhat enlightened and a bit educated,” says curator Kris Ives. “People are willing and interested to learn more. We’re hoping community exhibits like these help create that pathway for people to get started on their own journey of education.”

The Catholic School Board hosted a community event next to their offices behind Assumption High School Friday morning at 9:30 am

“We will be gathered together to honor, to bring an understanding, a deeper understanding because if we want to reconcile, if we want to go on that road to reconciliation that first means we have to know each other.”

The City of Windsor is hosting a community event at the Ojibway Prairie Complex between 10 am and 1 pm on Friday which will include cultural songs, drumming, stories and food.

The Chimczuk Museum is also open to the Original Peoples Culture and Legacy Gallery.

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