The Sudbury Catholic District School Board is delighted to share the first blog of the 2023-24 school year, “Together We Lead.”
This blog is a celebration of the remarkable stories and experiences that unfolded throughout our community during the past two months. In this edition, you’ll find inspiring accounts of collaboration, leadership, and dedication from students, teachers, staff, and community partners.
Highlights from September include:
Honouring Terry Fox – Features stories from St. Paul, Pius XII, St. Francis, and Holy Trinity.
Marymount Academy’s Fundraiser for NOFCC
Franco-Ontarian Day Celebrations – Features stories from St. Charles, St. James, and Immaculate Conception.
National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Initiatives – Features stories from St. Charles College, St. Albert, and St. Anne.
Highlights from October include:
Learning Disabilities Awareness Month – Features Holy Cross Raising the Flag with the Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury at James Jerome Field.
International Day of the Girl – Features Grade 7 and 8 students at Skill’s Ontario’s Women in Trades Conference.
Jill of All Trades Event – Features Secondary Schools and SCDSB Scholarship Winners.
International Heritage and Language Classes at St. Albert
We invite you to read the full blog, where the incredible stories of leadership, collaboration, and community spirit come to life.
Chanie Wenjack died at 12 years old while trying to flee the Residential School he attended in Kenora, Ontario on October 22, 1966. He was trying to make it more than 600kms home.
On Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 the St. Benedict Bears participated in the Walk For Wenjack as part of their commitment as a Legacy School with the Downie Wenjack Fund. St. Benedict CSS became a Legacy School is 2021. The school’s inaugural Walk For Wenjack was blessed having Chanie Wenjack’s niece and DWF Board Member Harriet Visitor join last year.
The St. Benedict Walk includes signage that teaches the Students about the history of Residential Schools, about Chanie Wenjack’s story and shares about the Spanish Residential School where many First Nation People of the area attended, only about an hour drive west from the City of Greater Sudbury. The signage ends with a Challenge to #Do Something to take Reconcili-Action and to remind every Student that they are valued, are important and have a voice.
This year’s walk in 2022 was given a challenge to complete 600 kms, (1 Km per Student), that would have brought Chanie home. With two classes that had been studying the Secret Path, (the story that describes what happened to Chanie), St. Benedict completed their challenge on October 27th, 56 years to the day Chanie was laid to rest. The Secret Path music is also played during the walk, adding to the experience of telling Chanie’s story. Using clothing buttons, a count was kept of every kilometer placed into a jar.
Many Staff and Students assisted to make the event a success including Mr. Sipos and his class who assisted in the Fry Bread and Bologna fundraiser for the DWF. The Diversity Club assisted with giving out cedar tea, strawberry and offering smudge. Ms. Mardero’s class also created an Every Child Matters woven fence art piece.
Adding to the Reconcili-Actions, on September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation or Orange Shirt Day, Mr. Labrosse’s St. Benedict Senior Boys Football team was playing a game and assisted in supporting with wearing orange arm bands and by displaying a large Every Child Matters banner behind their bench. Invited to toss the coin at the game that day, was Residential School Survivor Bernard Petahtegoose’s son Barry Petahtegoose. Barry and his Sons are avid football fans like their Dad/Grandpa Bernard (who attended the Spanish Residential School and passed away in 2020). You could feel the respect and energy of the day, the referees also supported wearing an orange band.
Also, on September 30th, classes of Ms. Briscoe and Ms. Mardero’s had opportunity to attend the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre. A thought-provoking play and artistic film, “Truth. Resiliency. Hope.” featuring Indigenous storytelling, music and dance was presented. The event was put on by the Indigenous Community Collective with many community partners. Many Students wore their Orange Shirts in support of learning the Truths that happened here in Canada about Residential Schools and those who attended and were left thinking about what the next era of Canada could look like if we keep doing the work, leaving a message of hope, if we do the work together.
Many thanks to all the Helpers, both Staff and Students alike that have been helping with these events, to make them happen, to prepare and support the Students in your classrooms before and after, for wearing Orange, for participating in the fundraiser, for offering to help. St. Benedict has truly shown their respect to the Survivors and to those who never made it home from those institutions. #EveryChildMatters #WalkForWenjack #reconciliACTION #LegacySchools #DoSomething
At Sudbury Catholic Schools, we are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive, and equitable community. This year, our community has been working hard in preparation for the 2022 Truth and Reconciliation Week – a five-day commemoration taking place from Monday, September 26th to Friday, September 30th. In between the personal activities being planned by our schools, we’re pleased to share that Sudbury Catholic’s Indigenous Education team has curated resources and materials to help students, staff, and community members commemorate this important week!
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Activities
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation offers a series of opportunities for classrooms to participate in events throughout the week of September 26 to September 30. More information and registration links can be found at: https://nctr.ca/education/trw/
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The NCTR is the foundation for ongoing learning and research. Survivors, their families, educators, researchers, and the public can examine the residential school system to foster reconciliation and healing.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION WEEK 2022 is a national program open to all schools across Canada. The theme of this year’s week is Remembering the Children. Students will learn about the residential school system’s history and memorialize the lost children. Several Sudbury Catholic schools will participate in activities and educational sessions planned by the NCTR.
This year includes an expanded program with age-appropriate material for students in Grades 1 through 12.
Days 1 to 3 features pre-recorded videos and a live Q & A session. On September 30, students can view a live televised broadcast for Orange Shirt Day from their classrooms.
All sessions will be held virtually on Hubilo.
Nelson Professional Learning series also offers educators the opportunity to deepen their knowledge through a series of free webinars entitled The Whole Truth About Residential Schools. This series is about learning and teaching the history of Indian Residential Schools in Canada.
Schools are invited to attend the Truth, Resiliency and Hope event planned by the Indigenous Community Collective. This event is occurring at Bell Park in Sudbury on September 30. At this gathering, attendees can commemorate survivors of Residential schools and acknowledge their resiliency. The event will begin with a sunrise ceremony and opening remarks. Later, a play entitled Debwewin (Truth) and a short video screening will premiere, and the event will finish with a Q & A session.
Board members at the Central Board Office are invited to attend the Walk for Reconciliation on September 30, 2022. This joint community event begins at N’Swakamok Friendship Centre (110 Elm Street). The group will then walk together to Bell Park, where they will attend the opening of the Truth, Resiliency and Hope event.
Orange Shirt Day in Honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
On September 30, we will join schools across Canada to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada. We are reminded that Orange Shirt Day also offers an opportunity to honour and pray for those who never made it home. Our schools are encouraged to post to social media and utilize the hangtags #orangeshirtday and #sudburycdsb to allow our board to see these activities in action.
In addition to the activities listed on this post, we recognize that each of our schools will be finding unique and creative ways to observe and honour this time. These events and activities may differ, but support is always provided. As we are reminded that this can be a difficult topic for many students, staff and families and should be taught with deep respect. For those who require support, there is help available through these contacts below:
Health Support Information:
If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419