Truth and Reconciliation week was truly a week to remember for Buck Mountain Central School staff and students. During the week of September 27th - October 1st each staff member was encouraged to engage in one act of reconciliation, acknowledge a truth, or experience learning about Canada's Indigenous Peoples' history each day. Staff lead our school community through acts of reconciliation. For some, this looked like a conversation or a discussion about residential schools. For others, this may be a simple land acknowledgement.
Our building was full of orange; we participated in Orange Shirt Day, provided orange ribbons and did school-wide activities. One of the activities that our entire school took part in was creating a new bulletin board that will remain in our school for the entire year. Each student took the time to add their handprint to our new display.
On Friday, October 1st we had the pleasure of welcoming Azure Jay as our virtual guest speaker. She talked about her personal experience with Residential Schools and the impact that it has had on her family for generations. She spoke from the heart and left a lasting impression on anyone who had the privilege of hearing her speak. She then led all students in a school-wide activity, each student was encouraged to decorate an orange shirt with a word or thought that stood out to them in the speech. Our students took this opportunity to embrace their creative side and create a new magnet. The idea was that this would be something to display in their locker, fridge at home or anywhere that they could see it on a daily basis and be reminded of this important topic.
Students and staff also got to take part in a Memorial Round dance lead by our Indigenous Support Worker, Mr. Wayne Caron. He led the circle with his powerful drumming and singing and with the support of some of our students they guided us through the Memorial Round Dance.
We ended our week with a Reflection Circle asking our students the following questions:
- How are you today?
- What have you learned about reconciliation this week?
- What does reconciliation look like at BMC?
- What does it mean to you to live and learn on Treaty 6 territory?
- How are you now?
The answers to these questions were very impactful to hear and I look forward to watching our school community continue to grow in knowledge in this area.