Topics covered in this post:
1. Orange Shirt Day at JICS
Friday, September 30
Tomorrow, we will hold a gathering in our school yard at 9am for children in JK to Grade 6 and their parents to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. To learn more about the creation of this day, please see here.
We are very fortunate to have Danny Beaton, an elder of the Mohawk Nation, environmentalist, traditional flute player, and Annex neighbourhood resident, take part in our gathering. We hope that JICS parents will be able to join us and we invite you to explore the TRC’s Calls to Action in Child Friendly Language with your child/ren produced by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
The origins of Orange Shirt Day begin with the experience of six-year-old Phyllis Webstad (Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation), who arrived at her first day of residential school, only to be stripped of her new orange shirt—and with it, her sense of self-worth. Phyllis’ story speaks of the brutal legacy of colonialism that dehumanized Indigenous peoples, and her experience has galvanized communities across Canada to recognize the damage that nearly two centuries of residential schools have done to Indigenous children, their families, and the generations who followed them.
The JICS Lab School is committed to listening and responding actively to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to diverse Indigenous voices across Turtle Island. We invite parents to review our work posted the JICSfamily website and provide suggestions as to ways we can improve.
2. Orange Shirt Day at the University of Toronto
Friday, September 30
On September 30 at 11:00am, Dr. Brenda Wastasecoot, assistant professor at U of T’s Centre for Indigenous Studies will give a talk titled: The Nikis Story is the Story of Canada: Reflecting on the Impacts of the Indian Residential Schools. Link to live stream.
Resources (films, books, and podcasts) providing insight into the residential school experience have been collected by UofT Mississauga and are available here.
3. Natural Curiosity Newsletter
The September Edition of the JICS Natural Curiosity (NC) Newsletter is dedicated to highlighting Indigenous perspectives in land-based learning, resources and events surrounding Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, and opportunities for supporting Indigenous voices this month and beyond. We are very proud of the NC team for the work that went into the creation of this newsletter. Please check it out here.
How do we collectively move toward reconciliation?
Moving forward, it isn’t Indigenous peoples’ sole responsibility to teach everybody about what’s happening and to try to get people’s attitudes to change. It’s everybody’s responsibility. We have to stop othering each other and start learning from one another. We all need to learn more about Indigenous knowledge, values and principles and how they can be replicated in dialogues and decision-making, whether it’s at a regional, national or international level. Looking ahead, we need to reimagine and start to build our collective future with respect and reverence for the Indigenous world, rather than merely replicating the values of a dominant Western society all over again.
– Sheila Watt-Cloutier, renowned Inuit activist, quoted from the Globe and Mail, 2007
4. Islamic Heritage Month
In 2016, the province of Ontario established October as Islamic History Month through the Islamic Heritage Month Act. It proclaimed that
“a month to be Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario will provide all Ontarians, both today and in future generations, with an opportunity to reflect, celebrate and learn about the rich and longstanding Islamic history in the Province and the diverse roles and contributions of Muslim people in communities across Ontario. This new understanding will in turn help combat anti-Islamic sentiment.”
At the JICS Lab School, we are always working to educate ourselves about the beautiful diversity that exists in the world in order to create respectful and accurate learning experiences for the children.
We invite parents to enrich our learning by sharing your Muslim identity with us, this month, or any time in the year. Please contact your child’s/children’s teacher/s.
Our goal is for JICS students to learn about the important contributions of Canadian Muslims to Canadian society, the cultural diversity of the Canadian Muslim community and the importance of learning about each other to foster greater sense of belonging for all.
5. LGBT History Month
LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ2S+ Icons. Each day in October, a new icon is featured with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images, and other resources in the https://lgbthistorymonth.com website.
LGBT History Month is also an observance of LGBTQ2S+ history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson.
We believe it is important to learn about the important contributions of LGBTQ2S+ community as one way to foster a greater sense of belonging for all.
We invite parents to enrich our learning by sharing your identity with us, this month, or any time in the year. Please contact your child’s teacher.
6. Lunch & Learn with JICS Social Worker Ellie Lathrop
Tuesday, October 4, 12:30-1:30
Helping Kids Manage Disappointment and Suffering Lunch & Learn Series with JICS Social Worker Ellie Lathrop
30 min recorded presentation, followed by 30 min unrecorded Q & A and discussion
Tuesday October 4
12:30 – 1:30 pm (Zoom)
7. In-person Meeting for Parents of BIPOC Children
Tuesday, October 25, 7:00pm-8:30pm
This past Tuesday was the first meeting for parents of BIPOC Children at JICS! It was a great meeting and another meeting (in-person this time!) has already been scheduled.
This group is run by parents. It is a space for conversation and advocacy for families at JICS with BIPOC children.
The first in-person meeting of the group will be on October 25, 7:00pm-8:30pm @ JICS and all parents of a BIPOC child are invited to attend.
The intention of this meeting is to gain a greater understanding of the issues facing our BIPOC children at school, and to create goals for our group so that we may support them during their time at JICS and beyond.
8. Natural Curiosity featured in Mind Your Plastic
Mind Your Plastic is a registered Canadian charity that started in 2016 with the mission to eliminate plastic pollution in Canada. We are delighted to announce that JICS’s Natural Curiosity Program Director, Haley Higdon was featured as Mind Your Plastic’s September Local Hero. Read more here. Congratulations, Haley!
9. Curriculum Night
We are proud to be a community of parents and teachers who work in partnership to support and enhance the learning of each student. Our program and teaching reflect our belief that students have different needs at different