School District 69 (Qualicum) schools will be closed on Sept. 30, 2021. (PQB News file photo)

School District 69 (Qualicum) schools will be closed on Sept. 30, 2021. (PQB News file photo)

Qualicum school district facilities to be closed for National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Offices for the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach also closed Sept. 30

Schools in District 69 (Qualicum) will be closed on Thursday, Sept. 30 in alignment with the newly appointed statutory holiday known as the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

In June of this year, the federal government announced the creation of the new statutory holiday to be recognized on Sept. 30 each year, and is a direct response to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. In previous years, Sept. 30 marked Orange Shirt Day, and although not a statutory holiday, was a day to recognize and raise awareness about this history and legacies of the residential school system in Canda.

According to SD69’s new superintendent, Peter Jory, Sept. 30 was previously scheduled as a non-instructional day for staff to focus on Truth and Reconciliation, but has now since moved to another day in light of the new holiday.

READ MORE: Businesses, schools and cities observing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

He stated staff will be engaging in a new calendar consultation to find another location for the non-instructional day, and that individual classrooms and schools are encouraged to engage in learning on the topic of Truth and Reconciliation, not only during the week leading up to the new stat holiday, but throughout the school year as per their renewed curriculum.

“I would encourage everyone to spend some time on that day to consider the impacts of colonialism on our Indigenous peoples. The residential school system did incredible harm that has lasted and will last for generations to come. But we can all be a part of the reconciliation, which begins with learning and understanding, whether we are currently in school or not,” wrote Jory in an email to PQB News.

Offices for the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach will also be closed on Thursday.

Further information on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, and the 94 calls to action, can be found at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website, www.nctr.ca.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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