Taha Asadi/ Staff reporter

September 30, 2021 was the first national day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honoured the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and their respective communities. On this day, British Columbian students were given a day off school to reflect on what happened in this dark period of Canadian history. The day was also recognized as a day to remember by all of Canada but there were also mixed opinions about it. Federal Statutory Holiday: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Canada.ca

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Kids being examined at Residential schools

The Canadian government has realized that it is important to recognize what crimes have been committed to First Nations communities and the horrific impact that residential schools had. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Canada.ca

A large part of educating Canadians on this topic, especially youth, comes from school education but in schools there were different opinions about the day.

Having spoken to many students and teachers at Gleneagle, the study found out that there were multiple diverse opinions about this day.

Having talked to multiple grade 11s at the school, some like Shamus Wong, thought that “Having a day off helps us to reflect upon what happened to many innocent children at residential schools”.

However, some students at Gleneagle, thought differently than Shamus. Others in grade 11 believed that Canada had done “too much” for reconciliation and did not enjoy the fact that this day was recognized by the government. They viewed Truth and Reconciliation Day as just a day off school for them. They saw the day as something that meant “so little” to them.

After asking teachers about their opinions, some said that Canada has not done enough for reconciliation and one of their main concerns was the living conditions that First Nation communities face.

Speaking to Gina Gianakas, an English teacher teaching on call, originally from Toronto, Ontario. She believed that not all of Canada has the same idea about this day and the fact that in some places like Ontario, kids must go to school, but in B.C students don’t, takes meaning out of the day.

 Gleneagle Vice Principal Kelly Zimmer, who is herself Indigenous , thought that Truth and Reconciliation Day was the right decision made by the Canadian government.

“Its a day to honor all Indigenous people and begin the journey of understanding and learning about Canadian history and how we can address the errors of the past.” she said

To her, Truth and Reconciliation meant that as a country, Canada can address and begin to heal from the mistakes that occurred.

She was also worried about the 630 Indigenous communities without fresh water, and implored students to read more about the day.

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Living situation of an indigenous family

In the end she said “We are starting the journey; it is the first year of our truth and reconciliation and we need to keep talking and learning to listen to each other but also listen to our Indigenous educators and to your teachers who are wanting to share with students the history of Canada”


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Canada.ca

Federal Statutory Holiday: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Canada.ca


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