Truth & Reconciliation Week – orange shirt day

The road we travel is equal in importance to the destination we seek. There are no shortcuts. When it comes to Truth and Reconciliation we are forced to go the distance.

Words by Justice Murray Sinclair

September 30th is recognized as National Truth & Reconciliation Day (also known as Orange Shirt Day).

What do these words mean to you?

  • Relationship
  • Broken
  • Family
  • Government
  • Missing
  • Indigenous
  • Language
  • Churches
  • Reconciliation
  • Tradition
  • Trauma
  • Residential
  • School
  • Intergenerational
  • Culture

Words have the power to mean something either positive or negative for different people. These concepts and words help to describe the tragedy surrounding residential schools that is Canadian history.

More than 150,00 First Nations, metis and Inuit Children were forced to attend government-funded residential schools between 1870s and the late 1990s. There was reported abuse – emotional, physical, and sexual – in these schools.

More than 4000 children failed to return home. This annual day of commemoration is seen as a way to raise awareness of past wrongs and acts as an important step in the healing process.

Source: “Healing the Past: Canada’s First National Day for Truth and Reconciliation” CBC News: News in Review, December 2021.

Why is it an Orange Shirt?

The “orange shirt” in Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad was given to her by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.

The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad

Truth and Reconciliation is Canada

Indigenous History through Art

The picture below was created by Kent Monkman and is titled Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience. What do you notice about this artwork and what does it say about Canada’s history?

Challenging Canada's history through art | TVO Today

“I Lost My Talk” by Rita Joe

I lost my talk
The talk you took away
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school
You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
The scrambled ballad, about my word.
Two ways I talk
Both ways I say,
Your way is more powerful.
So gently I offer my hand and ask,
Let me find my talk
so I can teach you about me.
1.  What does this poem mean by 'talk'?
2.  At the end of the third stanza, the speaker admits 'your way is more powerful.'  What might 'Power' mean in this poem?  Who is the 'You' she is talking to?  Does it include you?  In what way is your way more powerful?
3.  What does this poem express about language?
If you were to translate this poem in your own language, would it help you to understand what the poem expresses about language?
5.  Imagine if your first language was taken from you.  How would you feel?  How would you tell your children about your family?  How would you communicate with your ancestors from your home country?

Adapted from:


We all come from somewhere, and we all have stories to share. What is a story you’d like to share?

  • Before Orange Shirt Day, I knew…
  • Now I know…
  • Now I feel…
  • The action I will now take are…

Library Orientations

This week we have started with grade 9 Library Orientation Workshops in the library. These workshops are meant to introduce students to our library space and make them aware of the resources, services, and activities that we provide for all students.

We recognize that, over the past 2 years due to COVID, not all students have attended a library orientation, so it’s always a good idea to remind them about some key points.

Here is what you need to know (in a nutshell) about using our library:

Sacred Reads

Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, oh my!!

The Sacred Library has something to offer all reading preferences.

Last year, we weeded out both our fiction and non-fiction collections in the library to make room for newer and more relevant titles. Currently on display in our library are some of our newer fiction books that we’ve added, and which we are certain will provide students with their next GREAT read.

Check out some of the new titles below.

New Library Books by Lisa Loffredi

Sacred Reads Student Book Club

All all bookworms, book lovers, book enthusiasts, and lovers of reading!

The Sacred Heart Library Learning Commons also oversees our Sacred Reads Student Book Club. This club meets every 1-2 months to discuss and read books that either students recommend or those that are nominees on the Forest of Reading White Pines list.

Our first meeting this year will take place on Tuesday, September 27th after school in the library. All are welcome! We hope to see you there.

Welcome Back to School!

Hello Sacred!

Welcome back to another school year, but not just any school year.  We are happy to return to a school year that feels very much like pre-COVID and we welcome back a sense of normalcy.

I hope you are all having a successful start to the school year and I want to welcome you back to our Library Learning Commons.

I am so happy to see that students are coming into the library to use the space.  Our mornings are very busy!!  The library is an inclusive, welcoming, and safe space for all students and we hope our students know that when they walk through our doors.

This is our NEW library website and it will the be the hub for all online resources you can access 24/7.  Don’t forget to bookmark this link to your device for easy access in the future.  Stay tuned for new posts about resources that can support your learning, current events, monthly themes, or other ‘sacred’ findings.

Remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram using the links at the top of the page.

Have a great year and we look forward to your visit in the library.

Welcome to the Library by Lisa Loffredi