The TDSB is celebrating the 18th annual National Aboriginal Day on June 21 – a time of spiritual and cultural significance for Aboriginal peoples across Canada.
National Aboriginal Day is an occasion for all our schools and workplaces to improve our knowledge and understanding of the histories, cultures, achievements, experiences and world views of First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada and throughout the world. National Aboriginal Day, or First Nations Day, was created by people within the First Nations community in 1982.
Former Governor General Romeo A. LeBlanc proclaimed National Aboriginal Day in 1996. CLICK HERE to read the proclamation to make National Aboriginal Day an official day of celebration recognized by the Crown.
In recognizing this important day, we acknowledge the rights of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada as the original peoples. The history of Canada begins with Aboriginal peoples and they are an integral part of Canada’s history.
Yet their contributions and achievements, as well as their rich and diverse cultural heritages, rights, histories and perspectives, have traditionally been marginalized. The learning opportunities taking place in our schools throughout June will promote greater understanding and appreciation among all students.
At TDSB, we know that many Aboriginal students experience difficulty in our schools, which is why we must always continue to create inclusive environments in which all students can succeed. Our responsibility is to find ways to reach all our students by helping instill a sense of pride in themselves and hope in their futures. The goal is to help each and every student find success in school and in life. Our Aboriginal Education Centre, the First Nations School of Toronto and the Native Learning Centre are committed to developing programs based on student experiences and needs. Many other TDSB schools also offer Native Language Programs and provide innovative and creative programming.
Our goal is simple – we want to continue to create innovative programs that excite students to come to class every single day. Relevant TDSB programming for Aboriginal students will continue to grow in 2012-2013.
TDSB schools, staff and students are celebrating National Aboriginal Day on and around June 21 in a number of ways:
SEE PHOTOS FROM THE BALA AVENUE CS POW WOW
- Sir Robert L Borden BTI hosted a National Aboriginal Day celebration on June 5, in partnership with the Toronto Police.
- Elder Pauline Shirt and traditional teacher Lance Logan-Keye spoke with students at Cummer Valley MS on June 20 about experiences in Residential Schools and their enduring legacy in Canadian society.
- Bala Avenue CS celebrates on June 21 with a special First Nations Pow Wow with a Grand Entry including the Toronto Police Service's mounted unit, ceremonial drumming, song, dance and storytelling. The school also held its inaugural "Our Dreams Matter Too" Walk on June 11 to show support for Aboriginal students. Learn more
- On June 8, the TDSB Arts Department, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Education Centre, presented two original performance works, called Across Experiences, created by secondary students. Across Experiences aimed to build cross-cultural understanding with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students through active, intensive engagement in storytelling, theatre, dance and new media. Learn more
- The First Nations School celebrates its third annual Pow Wow on June 26, with its very own Sun Spirit and Little Thunder drums. The Pow Wow will also feature student performances, a Sunrise Ceremony and a community feast at 5 p.m.
- On June 29, Eastview PS will play host to the annual South East Scarborough Aboriginal Pow Wow.
- TDSB student art will be displayed at Toronto’s City Hall as part of the City's series of events in recognition of National Aboriginal Day during the week of June 18 - 23.
- Student and staff will take part in a number of Native Canadian Centre of Toronto events.