Message to SRCE Families: Upcoming Observances

RED Message to SRCE School Communities Re: Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters; National Day for Truth and Reconciliation; Treaty Day and Mi'kmaq History Month
Posted on 09/26/2023
The SRCE honours Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters /  E’tasiw mijuaj’jij sespete’tasit on Friday, September 29, 2023. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday, September 30, 2023. Treaty Day on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Mi’kmaq History Month throughout October. The Strait Regional Centre for Education logo is in black text on the upper right and there is an image of an orange t-shirt with the words Every Child Matters on the front.

Good Afternoon SRCE Families, Staff and School Communities:

I would like to share information with you on several important upcoming observances and how the SRCE will be honouring them:


  • Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters/E’tasiw mijuaj’jij sespete’tasit, in our region will be held on Friday, September 29, 2023.

    The SRCE invites students, parents, guardians, families, staff, volunteers and community partners to join in honouring Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters / E’tasiw mijuaj’jij sespete’tasit on Friday, September 29, 2023, and throughout the year. Let’s all come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope by wearing orange on Friday, September 29, 2023.

    As the website, points outOrange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, British Columbia in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The annual Orange Shirt Day held on September 30 opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. This date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools. This day is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind. The day promotes discussion that all Canadians can tune into and use to create bridges with each other for reconciliation. It is a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those who have been affected. It is a day to show that Every Child Matters, even if they are currently an adult. It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is Saturday, September 30, 2023.

    On September 3, 2021, the Province of Nova Scotia announced it would recognize September 30 annually as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  As a result, provincial government offices, public schools and regulated childcare will be closed for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Observance on Monday, October 2, 2023, since the day falls on a Saturday this year.

    All Nova Scotians are asked to find ways to acknowledge this day, to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis Survivors and their families and communities, and ensure public remembrance of our shared history and the generational harm caused by residential schools remains a vital part of the reconciliation process.

    National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides an important learning opportunity for all of us in the education system to take time to pause and reflect; and have important conversations about Canada’s history of residential schools, including here in Nova Scotia.

    We must not forget the harm caused by residential schools and the systemic efforts to eliminate the language, culture and value of Indigenous peoples.  It is imperative we continue to work to address systemic racism in our society and continue on the path of truth and reconciliation through Treaty Education.

  • Treaty Day, Sunday, October 1, 2023, marks the launch of Mi’kmaq History Month 2023

October 1 is Treaty Day and marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. This year’s theme is Mi’kmaw Sports, Traditional Games and Pastimes. Throughout the year, and especially in October, teachers incorporate a variety of educational activities in their classroom instruction to highlight the connection of our past to today and how this information shapes our understanding of our shared history. In addition, schools organize activities to enhance Treaty Education. 

Treaty Day and Mi’kmaq History Month are an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own understanding of the important history, culture, contributions, achievements and traditions of Mi’kmaw communities.

In the spirit of peace, friendship and reconciliation, the Strait Regional Centre for Education invites everyone to share in the celebration of Mi’kmaq History Month 2023.

Teaching and Learning in Classrooms Throughout the Year

We must ensure we continue to educate about this part of our history, to increase our efforts to realize the promise of Inclusive Education, and work together affirming survivors, their families and recognizing the generational harm caused by residential schools. 

SRCE staff will be facilitating conversations about residential schools in our classrooms with a particular focus on truth and reconciliation through Treaty Education.

Treaty Education allows for each grade level to learn about Mi’kmaw history, treaties, relationships, culture, ways of knowing and reconciliation. These teachings are woven into the curriculum of every grade level throughout the school year.

What can we do?

The SRCE encourages you to join us, and act towards honouring the truth:

Where can I access support?

If you are having a difficult time as you learn more, there are supports available including:

  • SRCE staff including school counsellors, school psychologists, teachers, school administrators, student support workers, student success teachers, Regional Equity Team and SchoolsPlus staff are a few of the supports available for our children and youth.
    • Please contact your respective school administration and/or school counsellor.
    • SchoolsPlus staff are also available to support children, youth and families and help you access mental health supports and other services you may need. For more information, please refer to the SchoolsPlus page on the SRCE website.

  • Kids Help Phone is available 24/7, by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free).
    • Children and youth may text TALK to 686868
    • Adults may text WELLNESS to 741741
  • National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

  • Indian Residential Schools Survivor Society: 1-800-721-0066

  • Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Crisis and Referral Centre: 1-855-379-2099
  • Nova Scotia Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

We Are All Treaty People. Every Child Matters.

Wela’lin / Thank you,

Paul Landry
Regional Executive Director of Education

Strait Regional Centre for Education
304 Pitt Street, Unit 2
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2T9
902-625-2191/1-800-650-4448; 902-625-2281 (fax)

[email protected] /
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