In this 1910s photo provided by the United Church of Canada Archives, students write on a chalkboard at the Red Deer Indian Industrial School in Alberta. In Canada, where more than 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools over more than a century, a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 3,201 deaths amid poor conditions. (United Church of Canada Archives via AP)

In this 1910s photo provided by the United Church of Canada Archives, students write on a chalkboard at the Red Deer Indian Industrial School in Alberta. In Canada, where more than 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools over more than a century, a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 3,201 deaths amid poor conditions. (United Church of Canada Archives via AP)

Red Deer Public Schools will mark Truth and Reconciliation Day with video about residential schools

Red Deer Public Schools will be commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a division-wide video and class activities.

Red Deer Public Schools will remember the lost children, survivors and families impacted by residential schools on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Sept. 30.

On Thursday morning, 11,000 students and 1,500 staff in Red Deer Public Schools will watch a Division-wide video and participating in activities, lessons and projects related to Truth and Reconciliation.

The idea is to learn more about the history of Canada’s residential school system and the ongoing legacy of this historic attempt at assimilation, which led to abuses of Indigenous children and inter-generational trauma within their communities.

After the federal government’s declaration of September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the school district stated it consulted with representatives in the Indigenous community, “including our partner the Red Deer Native Friendship Society,” and made the decision to remain open for an instructional day.

But there will be a focus on commemorating residential school survivors, their families and communities and honouring those who did not survive.

Chad Erickson, superintendent of Red Deer Public Schools, said “Our schools have a longstanding commitment to commemorating Orange Shirt Day, with many students and staff throughout the Division recognizing the day by wearing orange, as well as honouring children who attended residential schools, and remembering the children who did not survive.

“With students and staff in class on September 30, it will enhance the teaching, learning and understanding of residential schools and truth and reconciliation.”

The video was produced in two versions — one for elementary students and one for middle and high school students. The community is invited to watch the videos on the Red Deer Public Schools website, and learn more about the need for Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Red Deer Public School