First off, we want to say congrats & farewell to our Grade 8 grads and Grade 5 French Immersion students! Our entire school community is so proud of you all and we KNOW you will do incredible things in your new education adventures.
To all of our Earl Haig children, families, staff, and educators: this school year has been another doozy! Our community experienced a number of exhausting and stressful challenges this year but we’ve made it to the end of the school year stronger (even if your arm hurts a little right now) and perhaps more connected than ever. We will walk into September with a permanent Principal (congrats Eleni Burke-Tsakmakas!), a new Vice Principal (farewell Lizz Landry and welcome Jackilyn Wallace!), perhaps a little long-awaited playground construction, and a strengthened resolve to keep our students safe and engaged.
We hope everyone has a restful and joyful summer and we look forward to seeing all your faces in person in September!
As graves of Indigenous children continue to be recovered across the country, we want to acknowledge the continuing harm of Canada’s historical and present day treatment of Indigenous Peoples and provide some resources and calls-to-action that our community can take to support our friends and neighbours.
Support for survivors
For anyone affected by their own experience at residential schools, or those who are triggered by the latest reports, a national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
If you haven’t yet read through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report and its 94 recommendations, that is a great place to start. Only 13 of these calls-to-action have been completed by the government and immense public pressure on the federal/provincial governments by settler Canadians will be needed to drive that number up.
Idle no More is an Indigenous women led grassroots organization and they are rightly calling for a cancellation of Canada Day celebrations. Instead, use this day to reflect on how we benefit from this system that oppresses and kills Indigenous people daily, keeps them from access to clean water, healthcare, education, and infrastructure.
The Spirit Bear TRC guide linked above is a great resource to share with your kids on Canada Day to explain why the day needs to have a different focus.
Call for Indigenous-led curriculum updates
In 2018, the Ontario government abruptly ended an Indigenous-led curriculum consultation project. Since then, the government says they have added Indigenous content to the education curriculum, however, experts and advocates continue to emphasize that Indigenous leaders have been left out and the curriculum additions are not as effective as they need to be. This is another opportunity for public pressure on the Ontario government to help raise Indigenous voices.
The Toronto Public Library has a great collection of Indigenous books (for children and adults) that have been curated by the TPL’s very own Indigenous Advisory Council. One thing to consider is that not all books we read to our children should be about Indigenous harm. While acknowledging the harm of systemic discrimination and residential schools is key to truth and reconciliation, so too is celebrating and learning about the richness of Indigenous cultures and community.
Places to donate
If you are able to contribute financially, here are a few organizations that are supporting Indigenous education as well as survivors of residential school harm.
The Earl Haig School Advisory Council has set up a couple of online, no-fuss, fundraising options that couldn’t come at a better time. Take a look at the info below and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thank you gifts
Are you looking for a gift for a teacher or other supportive person to show your appreciation for this challenging school year? Consider purchasing a gift card through FlipGive and earn money for the Earl Haig SAC at the same time.
FlipGive is a website/app for purchasing gift cards for some of the biggest, most well-known stores (like Home Depot, Walmart, Indigo, Sport Chek). If you shop using the Earl Haig PS code, we will earn cash back on every purchase! Best of all during these pandemic times — it’s completely virtual and contactless.
Make sure your kids’ gear comes home this summer with personalized, waterproof labels from Mabel’s Labels! Order labels for every purpose — and the Earl Haig School Advisory Council will earn 20% from every sale. There’s free shipping on every order and the labels are sent directly to you.
Order your labels today – go to campaigns.mabelslabels.com, search for Earl Haig School Advisory Council (Toronto), click the link, and you’ll be ready to go!
Camping, summer camps, or a head start on the new school year – order your labels today and help raise funds for the Earl Haig SAC at the same time.