A group of students sit with Wes Edwards and Bill White following a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony.

On Thursday, September 29, our community gathered for a series of ceremonies throughout the day to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, this day is recognized across Canada to note the lasting impacts of the residential school system in the country.

This year's ceremonies were a full communal effort, organized by and involving students from our Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. Students heard traditional songs and drumming from Coast Salish Elder Bill White from the Snuneymuxw First Nation and Wes Edwards from the Malahat Nation and Cowichan Tribe. At the Senior School, Coast Salish and Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman spoke to the community about his works The Witness Blanket and The Oaklands Totem, and how reconciliation work must be done with both hearts and hands.

Middle School students shared stories and reflections, and Grade 6 student Abigail P. performed a M├ętis Sash Dance.

Below, you can find photos from the ceremonies held to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

A student performs a Metis sash dance in the chapel during the Middle School's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony
Wes Edwards and William White drum and sing during the Junior School National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony
Three Junior School students wear orange shirts while speaking during a ceremony in the gym.
Artist Carey Newman speaks to the Senior School during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony.
Students and teachers wearing orange shirts sit in the SMUS chapel listening to Bill White and Wes Edwards
A trio of Middle School students stand at a microphone reading a story during the National Truth and Reconciliation ceremony at the Junior School.
Senior School Naashkii Soler speaks during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony at the Senior School
Two Middle School students speak in the chapel during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony.
Elder Bill White speaks during the Senior School National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony