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September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Together we recognize the legacy of Canada’s residential school system and continue to learn the many truths of these institutions.
Orange Shirt Day, established in 2013 by Phyllis Webstad, recognizes the legacy of the Residential Schools System for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit families and communities. By wearing orange, we acknowledge the truths of Residential Schools in Canada, we honour Survivors, and we remember the thousands of children who died, many of them buried in unmarked graves. The Urban Indigenous Education Centre and TDSB honours Orange Shirt by hosting speakers to share their stoies with students, staff and families. Past guests include: David A. Robertson, Phyllis Webstad, Karen Chaboyer.
Every November is Indigenous Education Month at the Toronto District School Board. This month is an important reminder to centre First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, voices, histories, and contemporary realities. In classrooms across the TDSB, it is an opportunity to learn about treaties, Indigenous leadership, achievements, resistance and creativity.
Truth and Reconciliation is a strategic direction at TDSB. Throughout November, students, staff and community members honour a number of important days to deepen knowledge, to learn together about our shared histories and to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. Treaties Recognition Week is the first week of November. November 7 is International Inuit Day. November 8 is Indigenous Veterans Day, and November 16 is Louis Riel Day in Ontario. During this mornth, UIEC hosts virtual and in-person events for the TDSB community, and some past guests include: Elder Dr. Duke Redbird; Elder Naulaq LeDrew; Jason Madden; Tasha Spillet; Dr. Pamela Palmater; Ange Loft; Tauni and Albie Sheldon; Traditional Knowledge Practitioner, Clayton Shirt; Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse; Tanya Talaga; David A. Robertson; Shanese Steele; Alyssa and Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk; Jean Teillet, and Theola Ross.
June is National Indigenous History Month and June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a time to celebrate and learn from First Nations, Métis and Inuit people about the diverse cultures, histories, experiences, creations, perspectives, and achievements.
The Urban digenous Education Centre (UIEC) throughout the month of June for opportunities for staff, students and educators to engage with Indigenous artists, authors, and speakers through various virtual and in-persoin workshops and panel discussions.
Started in June 2021, Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Pride celebrates the centres the experiences, stories and creations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people that decolonize and indigenize 2SLGBTQ+ understandings of gender and sexual diversity and connections to land. UIEC hosts virtual and in-person events for students, staff and communities, past guest guests include: Elder Blu Waters, Kent Monkman, Patrick Hunter, Tasha Spillet, Elder Albert McLeod, TJ Cuthand, Ty Sloan, Theola Ross and Marie Laing.
Throught the guidance of Elder Dr. Duke Redbird O.K., K.O., O.K., magazine was launched and brought to life by Lee Sheppard and members of the UIEC team. The magazine is a curated collection of witten and visual works by student writers and artists enrolled in courses from the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies curriculum that is published twice a year, and released on June and Novermber 1st. Each magazine release is accompanied by a launch led by students sharing their works.
The Urban Indigenous Education Centre partners with staff, students, families and community partners to host annual Pow Wows. In June 2023, there were the Scarborough South East Pow Wow at Eastview Public School, and the Kâpapâmahchakwêw - Wandering Spirit School Pow Wow.
On May 5th, the Urban Indigenous Education Centre raises awareness and honours the countless First Natioins, Métis and Inuit women, girls and Two-Spirit people who have experienced disproportionate violence.