September 30, 2021, will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday established “to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.” In honour of this important day and with deep respect for the Indigenous communities who have long advocated to have the brutal legacy of residential schools recognized, the Palliser School Division will be observing this day as a non-operational day for the 2021-22 school year.
Palliser is committed to advancing Indigenous human rights through truth and reconciliation. As you may know, prior to this year, our staff have worked together to diligently promote awareness about the history and legacy of the Residential School system by observing Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day was designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
It is imperative that we as a community bear witness to this legacy and to join in the collective efforts to rethink our understandings of, and attitudes toward, the Canadian past and present. At Palliser, we pride ourselves on living and learning in community: the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation offers us a chance to listen and learn from people in our communities whose experiences and knowledge must inform our way forward.