June 19, 2018—Across Canada, National Indigenous Peoples’ Day is recognized annually on June 21. This date was chosen because of the cultural significance of the summer solstice, the first day of summer and longest day of the year, and because many Indigenous communities mark this day as a time to celebrate their culture and heritage. Setting aside a day to acknowledge National Indigenous Peoples’ Day is part of the wider recognition of the founding place of Indigenous peoples within the fabric of Canada.
The 2015-2020 Strategic Plan  includes Achieving Excellence & Equity as a priority, with a supporting goal to provide programs and services to help each student achieve success. Providing students with opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of First Nation, Métis and Inuit culture, tradition and perspectives are part of the Pathways goal in the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being BIPSAW (Pdf) 
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation states that Education is the key to reconciliation but only a true and complete experience in education can pave the path to relationships built on mutual respect and peaceful co-existence between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal classmates, neighbours and community members in this country.
At HPEDSB, we are committed to addressing and supporting the Calls to Action to address reconciliation through education and support of both students and teachers.
Some examples of system-level initiatives that support this work include the following:
- Policy revision to include an Indigenous Student Trustee
- Curriculum training for Grades 4-8 on enhanced social studies history and geography
- 64 sections of Indigenous Studies at secondary schools
- Orange Shirt Day—Every Child Matters recognized on September 30
- Ignite the Fire Student Symposium, an event attended by 230+ secondary school students
- Professional learning sessions for teachers and school administrators
- Provincial Indigenous Leads Gathering hosted by HPEDSB with over 225 participants from 71 Ontario school boards
- Northern Schools Indigenous Education Community Night
- Provided all elementary school Library/Learning Commons with a significant number of authentic resources from Indigenous authors.
- System level literacy work using Indigenous resources.
Work taking place in all schools throughout the district.
Please join in recognizing National Indigenous Peoples’ on Thursday, June 21, 2018
For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, extension 2354, [email protected]