Friday, September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – a day that honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. All School District 47 sites will be closed on that day as we encourage everyone to reflect on the impact of residential schools and engage in conscious acts of reconciliation through learning.
September 30th is also known as Orange Shirt Day -- an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of "Every Child Matters". The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations. On this day, we encourage our community to wear orange to honour the thousands of Survivors of residential schools.
School District 47 is proudly located in the qathet Regional District on the traditional territory for the Tla'amin Nation. Tla'amin people are actively working to reclaim their critically endangered ʔayʔaǰuθəm language, part of the larger Coast Salish language family. Tla'amin people are descendants of a rich heritage with a history that stretches back well over 6000 years.
School District 47 is committed to Truth & Reconciliation. Truth must come before Reconciliation and it is critical that we continue to learn.
Our District is committed to Indigenous Education. What does Indigenous Education mean to us?
- We are working to build foundational understandings of place history and impacts of colonial history on Indigenous peoples;
- We are valuing and validating Indigenous knowledges, worldviews, and perspectives;
- We are advocating for Indigenous students;
- We are supporting teachers in decolonizing practices and equity for Indigenous learners;
- We are Indigenizing educational environments and opportunities;
- And, educating the hearts and minds of students, staff and community.
We are committed to these long-term goals and action now.
Some examples of our action since 2021 include:
- Created positions and hired multiple roles within the Indigenous Education department, including District Principal of Indigenous Education, District Indigenous Culture and Student Support Worker, and an Elementary Indigenous Success Teacher;
- Received early curriculum approval from the Ministry of Education for ʔayʔaǰuθəm Language Program
- Implemented a system of support for all Indigenous learners;
- Increased access to curricular and cultural focused professional learning opportunities for all staff
- Continue to work collaboratively with Tla'amin Nation to create ɬaʔamɩn Education Agreement
Public commemoration of the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is an important part of the reconciliation process.
All schools within School District 47 will be commemorating National Day for Truth Reconciliation with weeklong learning and activities such as:
- Creating Indigenous focused school wide art installations, including Welcome Poles at all schools;
- Attending ceremonies, talking circles, and learning from Tla'amin Elders;
- Participating in Truth & Reconciliation Week 2022, a virtual education program offered to all schools across Canada;
- And, wearing an orange shirt.
By exposing students to Indigenous principles of learning and content we aim to build a level of understanding that will contribute to improvement in Indigenous student success, empathy and understanding.
For more information on SD47 Indigenous Education and the Tla'amin Nation, please visit