Thursday, September 30th marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. To commemorate the day, children already familiar with this subject matter at HWS were welcome to wear an orange shirt to recognize this day.
What we did hope to bring to the students at HWS, was an age-appropriate understanding of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Some ways that we acknowledged the day included sharing Indigenous stories, songs, crafts, and activities in the classroom.
At the high school, students discussed the significance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. On Thursday, many of our students participated in Orange Shirt Day to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada.
Deepening Faculty Learning
In addition, our faculty engaged in education and discussion by dedicating our weekly Thursday faculty meeting to the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Thanks to one of our parents of the school, Chandra Maracle, faculty deepened understanding of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, traditions at Skaronhyase'ko:wa (The Everlasting Tree School) and a local perspective from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
Chandra Maracle is the mother of four daughters and lives on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is co-founder and Nutrition Coordinator of Skaronhyase’ko:wa (The Everlasting Tree School) and is a collaborator on The Legacies Project: An Intergenerational/Intercultural Exchange of People Transforming the Food System through York University in Toronto. She was a collaborator on the Healthy Roots committee and developed the Haudenosaunee Food Guide for the Community Challenge.
Chandra is also founder of Kakhwa’on:we/Real People Eat Real Food, and is passionate about exploring the links between nutrition, art, people, language and land. She is a graduate of the Onkwawen:na Kentyohkwa adult Mohawk language immersion program, and also a PhD student at York University focusing her studies on Environmental and Urban Change.
Skaronhyase’ko:wa (The Everlasting Tree School) is located on Six Nations of the Grand River territory, combines a Waldorf model of education — emphasizing art, community, and nature — with Mohawk language immersion and cultural teachings. It is fascinating continue to learn about the similarities of the culture with anthroposophy. The word anthroposophy comes from the term anthrop-sophia, also known as the "wisdom of man."
With Our Gratitude
A highlight through Chandra Maracle’s storytelling was the effective application of the concept ‘both and’ to remember and honour the nuances and stories of others. Many beautiful stories continue to live in Indigenous culture, and while the tragedy of the residential schools exists in the history, it does not consume the individuals. Such profound peace and the striving for balance in thought and deed is remarkable -- even in the messiness of the truths and reconciliations that are required. We send our gratitude to Chandra for her time, knowledge and efforts to deepen our faculty's understanding. ~ Written By: Catherine Daugherty, Administrative Director Editor’s note: Catherine is the Chair of the recently formed Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee at Halton Waldorf School, that involves representatives of the parent body, faculty and board. If you would like to get involved, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org