Division News

Division News

Statement from Northland School Division: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Posted on September 30

Together, with our communities, Northland School Division would like to honour survivors of residential schools on Canada’s National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.

Board Chair Cathy Wanyandie acknowledges National Truth and Reconciliation Day’s significance. “As an Indigenous woman, this day holds immense significance for our people as it honours the truth of our history, and acknowledges the pain experienced through colonization. This is an opportunity to amplify Indigenous voices, promote understanding, and foster meaningful change. Together, we can build a future that respects and upholds the rights and dignity of Canada's first people.”

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, this event is inspired by Survivor Phyllis Webstad, who shared her experience in residential school. Her story, like those of many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit across Canada, reflects what true resilience is. 

Tanya Fayant, Vice-Chair, explains, “Our schools are the heart of many communities. At Northland, we not only aspire to have a place where every child wants to come to school but to have learning environments where every child is honoured and loved and has space to grow and thrive. We will never forget that every child matters.”

Superintendent Shelley Willier understands and lives the impact of residential schools. Her dad, and his parents, her Kohkom and Moosom, survived mission schools. Others did not. “Canada’s legacy of residential schools is tragic. For those children missing, for those children who never survived, and for the families that were left behind, my heart breaks.”