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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Posted on Sep 1, 2021

Medicine Hat Catholic Schools dedicate September 30 as a day of reflection and education.

At the Public Board Meeting in June of 2021, The Board of Trustees made a motion that Medicine Hat Catholic schools will dedicate September 30, 2021 (Orange Shirt Day), as an instructional day for the schools to provide specific instruction and activities to honour residential school survivors, their families and communities.

Division-Wide Activities

Morning: dedicated instructional time has been set aside to focus on education and reflection. Grade-level educational materials regarding residential schools, indigenous culture and history have been provided to teachers by our Division Indigenous Lead Teacher.

Afternoon: Each student across our school division will be provided with a piece of orange ribbon. The ribbon will be used in our first official "Ribbon Tying Ceremony".

The orange ribbon is a symbol of the many losses experienced by thousands of Indigenous students, their families and communities, over several generations. . Staff and students will make their way outside, where they will find a plaque to commemorate the day on the fence. Ribbons will be tied one by one on the chainlink fence surrounding the plaque. This will be a silent exercise where students are encouraged to reflect on our Canadian history, affirm our commitment to raise awareness of the residential school experience and to ensure that every child matters as we focus on our hope for a better future in which children are empowered to help each other.

At 2:15 p.m. we will have a division-wide moment of silence. 

Let us join in prayer:

Dear Lord,

As we tie these orange ribbons to the fence, help us to have:

Clear eyes, that we may face the story of our shared history with honesty.
Open hearts, that we may hear the stories of Indigenous peoples with humility.
True courage, that we may once again ask our brothers and sisters for forgiveness.

We declare our desire to be a people who pursue peace.
We declare our resolve to be a people who remember.
We declare our commitment to be a people of truth and reconciliation.

We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Statement of Apology by the Catholic Bishops of Canada to the Indigenous Peoples of This Land

On September 24, 2021, the Catholic Bishops of Canada took the opportunity to affirm and acknowledge the suffering experienced in Canada’s Residential School system. Click here to read the letter of apology by the Catholic Bishops of Canada.

Medicine Hat News: Local schools take the day to focus on truth and reconciliation