The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, recognized on September 30, provides an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the legacy of Canada’s residential school system. The day was originally established in 2013 as Orange Shirt Day. Phyllis Webstad shared her story of her favourite orange shirt being taken upon arrival at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School and this began a movement across Canada to honour communities, Survivors and families impacted by the legacy of residential schools.
The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for us to reflect, become educated and take action to address past and current injustices against Indigenous Peoples, while centring Survivors, their descendants and those who never made it home from residential schools. It is a day to recognize the work communities continue to do to bring their children home.
Click here for ETFO’s statement on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
ETFO Building Better Schools: Learning Comes Alive
Truth and Reconciliation Week
It is Truth and Reconciliation Week, a time to learn, reflect and honour the survivors of the residential school system, their families, and communities. Let us remember every day that advancing reconciliation is not possible without education!
To further learning opportunities, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is offering age-appropriate material for students in grades 1 through 12 nctr.ca/education/trw.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has also unveiled a cyber version of the Witness Blanket to be used in classrooms of all levels. We encourage you to bear witness and share this learning in your classroom; visit nctr.ca/education/trw to learn more.
New Resource: Niizh Manidoowag: Two-Spirit
This ETFO resource highlights the history and experiences of two-spirit people within the Indigenous context. Our booklet provides a starting point and some shared language to begin building capacity and culturally relevant and responsive learning materials that reflect the lived experiences of two-spirit (2S) people and communities for all students.
Overseas Teachers’ Association – Department of National Defense Schools Recruitment
The following information and attached poster have been provided to ETFO by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF).
The CTF, in consultation and cooperation with the Overseas Teachers’ Association (OTA), is the official representative of OTA members in matters relating to the Tripartite Loan-of-Service Agreement and other aspects of their service overseas in dealings with the offices of the Director General of Dependants Education Programs and the Minister of National Defense.
Canadian teachers teaching overseas in Department of National Defense (DND) schools are members of the OTA.
The DND hires Canadian teachers for a period of two years under a loan of service agreement at Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) overseas schools located in The Netherlands (AFNorth) or Belgium (SHAPE). This agreement is a secondment where the teacher remains an employee of their respective board and the DND reimburses the school board for salary and benefits.
The 2022 CAF overseas recruitment process is open to teachers across Canada from September 1 to November 1, 2022 for the 2023-2025 school years.
For additional information on CAF overseas schools and the application process, interested candidates may visit the Children’s Education Management (CEM) website: https://www.cafconnection.ca/CEM/Teacher-Recruitment
Generation Black: You’re Next!
Generation Black: You’re Next! is a public symposium organized by ETFO in collaboration with Black community organizations and educational stakeholders.
The symposium will address the urgency for recruiting Black teachers and the necessity for retaining Black educators to improve the representation of Black people in education.
The symposium will take place on Saturday October 1, 2022 9:30am-5:00pm. Details for the symposium are attached. The keynote address is by Wes “Maestro” Williams, and the event will be moderated by educator Nastassia Subban.
As you are preparing your unit and lesson plans for Reconciliation Education and Reconciliation Week at the end of September, don’t forget that the First Nations Caring Society and Spirit Bear have great resources too!
Celebrate PRIDE in Your Community
Pride is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate with those who identify as two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer, and to come together to support the ongoing fight against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and the broad range of intersectional oppression experienced by members of the queer communities.
Many Pride events offer a variety of activities for participation by ETFO locals, Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs), equity and social justice clubs, and committees.
Visit the ETFO-YR booth at York Pride (yorkpridefest.com)
Jewish Heritage Month
ETFO acknowledges and celebrates May as Jewish Heritage Month. Addressing Antisemitism and Holocaust Education: Annotated Bibliography of e-Resources is a resource that captures and highlights organizations with materials supporting schools, communities and workspaces on combatting antisemitism and addressing Holocaust education.
To view this new resource for educators, click here.
May is Asian Heritage Month
To celebrate the month, ETFO is proud to release a new poster. Japanese Canadian artist Emmie Tsumura offers 24 provocative images in the artwork to encourage conversations and reflections about the concepts of kindness, creativity, collectivity, peace, and non-violence.
Nobel Peace Laureate Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, is featured in our 2022 poster with a message to us all:
“Think beyond the self. Life has so much more meaning when you do things for the collective good; things that you don’t really have to do, but ultimately give your existence a sense of purpose.”
Download the poster and curriculum resource guide here.
“Surviving Hybrid” in ETFO Voice Magazine
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3 is annually recognized as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and this year’s international theme is “Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era.” While the pandemic has deeply impacted many marginalized groups, including Black and Indigenous Peoples and women, people with disabilities are the most affected population.
Before the pandemic, classrooms across Ontario required more access to educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, child and youth workers, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists to meet needs and support students with special needs.
But now that the Ford government has failed to invest, students with special needs are being left behind. Things do not need to be this way, it can be different. With your help, we can vote Ford out this June and elect a government that will fund a more supportive and inclusive classroom for all!
If you are concerned about the future of public education, get involved with our campaign.
Joint Press Conference OSSTF & ETFO-YR: YRDSB No Hybrid
York school board staff objected to controversial hybrid learning model, but senior leaders pushed ahead anyway: Sources
Toronto Star Article – Click Here
National Day of Mourning
World Teachers’ Day 2021
Media Release – Click Here
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation an opportunity to reflect on harmful legacy of residential schools
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, recognized on September 30, provides an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the harmful legacy of Canada’s residential school system. This is the first year this day is being federally recognized; however, it was originally established in 2013 as Orange Shirt Day. Phyllis Webstad shared her story of her favourite orange shirt being taken upon arrival at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School and this began a movement across Canada to honour communities, Survivors and families impacted by the legacy of residential schools.
The passing of Bill C-5 fulfilled the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #80. It was unanimously supported by the House of Commons in June 2021 after going through multiple revisions, and being stalled by Conservative Senators in 2019.
The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for us to reflect, become educated and take action to address past and current injustices against Indigenous Peoples, while centring Survivors, their descendants and those who never made it home. It is a day to mourn the loss of the children whose bodies were recovered this year, those still to come home, and all those affected by both the direct and intergenerational impact of residential schools.
Racial injustice did not end with the closing of residential schools; it continued through the Sixties Scoop, the criminal justice system, child welfare system, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), and the lack of access to clean drinking water. It is important to acknowledge these systemic issues that are rooted in white supremacy, and the work that still needs to be done.
In 2015, ETFO endorsed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and remains committed to supporting educators, communities and students in continuing these conversations. While we renew our call to demand action for reconciliation and justice, we also know this is a moment to engage in learning, but talking about residential schools requires care.
It is important that we approach this learning in culturally safe and trauma-informed ways to ensure we do not unintentionally perpetuate colonial violence and harm. ETFO’s Healing Conversations resource supports educators in discussing residential schools, the Sixties Scoop and MMIWG.
As we work to create spaces that are safe and inclusive for all, we must go beyond performative acts. We must demand justice and commit to continuing the work of reconciliation by taking actions like the following throughout the year: • reading the Calls to Action; • reading Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG; • reviewing the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website and resources; • learning about Indigenous histories in Canada and contemporary issues; • supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists and authors; and • visiting virtual museums.
Other resources to support educators in their unlearning, learning and re-learning are available on etfofnmi.ca.