The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was a catalyst for Crescent School to engage in a week-long conversation about the Canadian Indian residential school system. An Orange Shirt Day flag was raised that Monday and it flew alongside our national, provincial and School flags. Age-appropriate lessons about Indigenous histories and the residential schools were woven into presentations, conversations and class work from assemblies to Mentor Group activities. The school libraries created thematic literature displays, and screens in the Upper School displayed information on the significance of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
On September 30, we lowered our flags to half-mast and held a moment of silence to reflect upon the tragic past of our country’s Indigenous peoples and the ongoing impacts of the residential school system. Headmaster Fellin opened the announcement. “We read a land acknowledgment statement to reflect upon and demonstrate recognition of Indigenous lands, treaties and peoples,” he said. “It allows us to think about the past and what changes can be made to further the reconciliation process.” Head Boy Shay Kothari read Crescent’s land acknowledgment statement, and a boy from each Division shared his personal reflection on “Why I am wearing an orange shirt today.”