As you know, the STA Executive has struck a Truth and Reconciliation Committee with the directive to build an STA TRC Calls to Action Plan for the 2021-2022 school year. One piece of our Action Plan involves highlighting one of the Seven Sacred Teachings each month in the school year. 

 The focus for May is Respect. 

Respect – Mnaadendimowin: 

Respect is represented by the buffalo. The buffalo gives every part of his being to sustain the human way living, not because he is of less value, but because he respects the balance and needs of others. 

For as long as we have been here, we have sustained our lives through the Buffalo in terms of clothing, food, shelter, and expressing ourselves in art. 

To honor all creation is to have respect. 

Live honorably in teachings and in your actions towards all things. Do not waste and be mindful of the balance of all living things. Share and give away what you do not need. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Do not be hurtful to yourself or others. 

Place others before yourself in your life, don’t look down on anyone. 

Respect your fellow living beings. 

All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.

Our goal is that teachers will learn together with their students about these teachings and bring them into their regular classroom activities. With a focus of respect, students could: 

  • Write, draw, talk about respect for others and for yourself – what do people in your life show respect?  Brainstorm “What does respect look/sound/feel like?” and discuss why respect is important. 
  • Have students decorate a Buffalo and write about what represents Respect for them. See attached Buffalo art by Michelle Stoney, a Gitxsan artist who has graciously given permission for anyone to print off and colour this design – she just asks that it not be used for sale or profit. 
  • Share some picture books about respect such as  You Hold Me Up  I Am Like a Tree: Bark and Knots or books from this list.  
  • Engage in self-reflection and self-assessment techniques, being honest and kind with where they are in their learning journeys. Have students reflect on their ability to show respect, be kind to others and to themselves.  
  • Explore the First Peoples Principle of Learning: “Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and-or in certain situations.” This principle highlights the importance of respecting the sacred.  
  • Explore the 13 Moons of the WSANEC  
  • Explore PENAWEN the Moon of the Camas Harvest. Use this slideshow to highlight all the traditional activities that take place during PENAWEN.  
  • Explore the importance of Camas and Garry Oak Ecosystems. The following lesson plan is designed for secondary but could easily be adapted for all grade levels:  
  • May 5th is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “Missing Nimama” by Melanie Florence is an excellent resource for all grade levels and explains the concept of MMIW in a gentle way.  
  • Bear Witness Day – May 10th – Spirit Bear’s birthday and an important date in the history of Jordan’s Principle at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.  Click here for more information and ideas for activities for your class. 
  • Celebrated in May and June, Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams invites people of all ages to plant heart gardens in memory of children lost to the residential school system, to honour residential school survivors and their families, and support the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).   
  • May is the season of Cedar Harvesting. Learn about the importance of Cedar from Elder Henry Chipps and Brother Rick Peter in this video from Royal Roads: Consider inviting Elder Henry or Brother Rick into your classroom to engage your students in a Cedar Weaving lesson.  

We would love to highlight the work that teachers and students are doing in their schools. If you have any photos or videos of student artwork, writing, etc. with proper media release permissions, please send them to to see them featured on our social media accounts. 

Look for another email at the end of May with ideas you can use to highlight Courage/Bravery in your classrooms in June. 

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. If you were considering using this opportunity to engage with Indigenous Elders or Role Models, remember that the deadline for district funding is during May.  School funds will need to be used for June if you want to invite an Elder or Role Model into your classroom to teach about local Indigenous culture. Please check with the Indigenous Education Teacher(s) or Indigenous Classroom Assistant(s) at your school if you would like some support or advice with making the bookings.  

Thank you for bringing Indigenous worldviews into your classroom. 

The STA TRC Committee: 

Kristine Kosolofski   

Lindsay Lockhart   

Diane Wiens   

Rita Zeni 

The STA TRC Committee:

Kristine Kosolofski

Diane Wiens

Rita Zeni


The TRC Committee is made of up Executive Members and is committed to the following Actions:
Bi-Weekly Social Media Announcements
District-Wide Projects based on the Seven Sacred Teachings
Letter Writing Campaigns
Staff Rep Binder Updates
Training with an Indigenous Focus


Monthly FOCUS:

We would love to highlight the work that teachers and students are doing in their schools. If you have any photos or videos of student artwork, writing, etc. with proper media release permissions, please send them to to see them featured on our social media accounts.

Thank you for bringing Indigenous worldviews into your classroom.







Deconstructing Myths video clips

Wab Kinew 500 Years in 2 Minutes”video clip:

Show “Jordan’s Principle” video clip (stop at 3:50):

Cindy Blackstock on court’s upholding of compensation order for First Nation Children

“Hi Ho Mistahey” video clip:

“The Spirit Has No Colour” video clip:

Soapbox video clip:

PSACvideo clip:

TRC “Educating our Youth” video clip:

“I’m not the Indian You Had in Mind”


Orange Shirt Day Resources

On September 30th, join us in honouring Orange Shirt Day, as well as recognizing the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day is recognized annually to acknowledge the effects and legacy of the residential school system and is an opportunity to take action. The day grew out of a commemorative gathering and reunion for survivors of St. Joseph Mission Residential School, where survivor Phyllis Webstad (Jack) shared her experiences as a child. 

To read Phyllis’ story in her own words, click below. The details of Phyllis’s story may be difficult to read.

Phyllis’ Story

Each year on September 30th, people from all over Canada are invited to wear orange in honour of Orange Shirt Day and to remind ourselves that “Every Child Matters”. In 2021, this day coincides with the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which was recognized by Parliament in partial fulfillment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 80:

“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, Phyllis’ story, and ways to participate in this event in your home community, click here:

Orange Shirt Day
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