Dear CJP families,
This week marks the first time in Canada we have had a federally recognized day where Truth and Reconciliation was observed across our country. When I met this morning with teachers, I asked all of them, “What did you do?” and “What will you do moving forward?” I would like to pose that same question to our community. Together we are all responsible for the children around us and their understanding and growth within the context of Truth and Reconciliation. What will we continue to do to ensure Truth and Reconciliation is an ongoing part of our daily conversation with our youth? What will you do to ensure that the children and families who sacrificed so much, even life, when forced to attend residential schools, are never forgotten. That their stories live on, because every single child does matter, they matter so very much. So, I ask again, of all CJP families, “What did you do yesterday to acknowledge Truth and Reconciliation and to deepen your learning and the learning of your children?” and “What will you do moving forward?”
Today, our school community spent the day with Darcy Turning Robe from Siksika Nation. Darcy, our Knowledge Keeper, lead a discussion about Truth and Reconciliation, residential schools, and then lead grade level round dances and then a whole school round dance. It was spectacular! Round dances are celebrations that signify fellowship, kindness, togetherness and respect. Today we learned about Round Dances a part of the indigenous culture of kindness, healing and celebration. Check out the banner story, and our music section, for some pictures.
Today we were also fortunate to participate in a conversation with Misty, her daughter Elizabeth and her brother Tyler. All CJP students, including Elizabeth’s three lovely children, observed and listened as Elizabeth posed questions to her mom Misty about their family’s experiences with residential schools and how the family has coped and journeyed on since the children returned from residential school many years ago. Our biggest learning, while the children attended residential school a few generations ago, the impact and pain is still felt today. The emotional burden on the family still runs very deep. This lovely family, part of our CJP family, is brave and has courage. And, if you were ever of the mindset that residential schools affected families in far off places, now you know, residential school survivors are part of our CJP family. Thank you Misty, Elizabeth, and Tyler for sharing your very special and personal story with us today.
I ask again to our CJP community - “What will you do moving forward?”
Dr. Bettesworth and Ms. Sharpe