National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


As we know, today is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

When it was announced, it was met with confusion and an unsure plan as to what it actually means and what will actually happen. There were different levels of acceptance across Canada.

The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

My news sources have had a mixture of references. Sadly, I feel, there have been too many resources outlining what will be open and what will be closed, just as we would expect in any other day. In particular, I’m thinking of Remembrance Day.

In education, there has been an outpouring and sharing of resources and ideas. Yesterday, I did a bit of sharing in that vein as well. I know that well intentioned educators want to do the very best for this day. Facebook users might turn to this page for additional ideas.

This a rather unique day with the late passage of the Royal Assent of the proclamation. Educators have been working to make the day meaningful for students and themselves.

I know that many of us are frustrated that we didn’t grow up educated in the issues. I am still angered after I learned that I grew up within an hour’s drive of an Indian Residential School. I have been learning ever since.

My fear is that September 30 may be considered just another event day. A day to be recognized and then we move on, on October 1.

Instead, I would hope that people consider that this day is the beginning or a renewal of understanding of the history of Indian Residential Schools and a somber understanding of the children who lost their lives there and for those who survived.. Our generation has a great deal of learning to fully understand. We know the voices that we need to listen to. It’s an opportunity to learn alongside students going forward.

One single day just won’t do it.

OTR Links 09/30/2021


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

An Indigenous book curation


I ran across the article below earlier this week and found it interesting and timely. I really enjoy it when people who know curate collections and share them with the world. Once shared, you never know where it’s going to go.

I shared it to Twitter knowing that there were many people in my learning network who would be interested.

I watched with interest as the article was shared and reshared. Particularly this week, these resources may be sitting in your school or within the system just waiting for you to access them.

David A. Robertson curated and shared this collection of books written by Indigenous authors. It was picked up and shared by CBC Books in this article.

48 books by Indigenous writers to read to understand residential schools

There was obviously a need and a value to the list, judging by the amount of sharing that I saw happening. To help continue spreading the news, I’m creating this post.

I hope that it doesn’t become a one day post. A collection like this needs to be visited and revisited during the course of the school year.

Please share with colleagues who are looking for resources like this.

Later: An additional piece of wisdom from Mr. Robertson.

How To Talk To Kids About The National Day For Truth And Reconciliation

OTR Links 09/29/2021


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The internet kills the Carny Code


If you’re a Simpsons fan, you’ll undoubtedly recall the episode when Bart and Homer go to work at a carnival and learn about the “Carny Code”. I understand it; there’s something about sitting in the audience and marveling at something that seems to have no explanation.

This past weekend was the Uncommon Festival in Amherstburg. We went for part of every one of the three days. The culminating headline event was an aerialist performance.

We don’t have a town square but if we did, it would probably be at the corner of Dalhousie and Richmond Streets. For this performance, they had a big tripod setup with ribbons and lyras. Look at me using big words; if it wasn’t for the announcer, I would just call them hoops.

The cast of the show took us through a collection of amazing acrobatics including two ladies on a trapeze. Each performer kept upping the ante in terms of difficulty and doing things that I know that my body was not built to do.

It was the final event that had everyone gasping, even behind masks. She was Aerialist Deanna. She did a hair suspension routine. I captured this picture.

From her YouTube channel, you can see this interview with her and a movie of her in action.

It was the first time my wife and I had witnessed something like this. We enjoy shows like this and have seen many but none like this. It hurt just watching her as she pulled herself up into the air, hanging by her hair, and then began her routine.

And of course, as skeptics, we started to try to figure out how it was done. Unless the previous acrobats where the routine was clearly flexibility, strength, practice, practice, and more practice, this one had us completely amazed and looking for hidden wires or bands or something. If they were there, we should be able to see it because the sun was setting behind her.

By the end, we had come to our conclusion. We had nothing. We were just in awe.

Now, of course, we couldn’t just go up to her or any of the crew and ask. We knew about the Carny Code and how secrets are kept to ensure that there is an audience for their future. You had to respect that. So, we just went by their tent prep area and congratulated them on a great show.

Later, I had a hard time getting to sleep trying to figure this out. If it had been on television or social media, I’d easily write it off as a trick. But I’d seen it live. I’m an analytical type of guy; I should be able to figure it out..

This morning, I turned to our old friend, the internet. Surely, there was an answer. With an single Duck search with the right search terms, I had my answer. I won’t reveal it here; if you’re so inclined, do it yourself. The answer is there and the explanation seems to make sense. Had I not witnessed the show myself, I might still be skeptic.

If Aerialist Deanna ever comes to your town, you’ve got to check her out. You won’t be disappointed.