National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Limestone Learning Foundation
National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
Posted on 09/26/2022
Image of Every Child Matters graphicAll LDSB schools, education centres and sites will lower their flags to half-mast for the remainder of this week until sunset on Friday, September 30, in observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

On September 26, the Limestone District School Board made the decision to hang the Every Child Matters flag below the Canadian flag at the Board Office at 220 Portsmouth Avenue. It was brought to the attention of the Indigenous Education Team that the visual of the Canadian flag above the Every Child Matters flag was harmful, upsetting, and oppressive to Indigenous members of the Kingston and surrounding communities and to survivors of the residential school system. We recognize that the Canadian flag is a symbol of colonization and that many individuals have a complex relationship with what is now known as Canada and the legacy that the Canadian flag holds. 

The LDSB Senior Leadership, Krishna Burra (Director of Education), Scot Gillam (Superintendent of Indigenous Education), and Liv Rondeau (Vice-Principal of Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Lead) recognize that this was done with well-meaning intentions but that the impacts were negatively felt by members of the Indigenous community.  We want to extend our sincerest apologies for this. We understand that intent and impact are two different things.  We would also like to acknowledge the social media post that went out using the words, ‘lost children’ when referring to the genocide of Indigenous children. As a board we know better, and we can do better. LDSB is committed to both teaching and learning the truth and taking strides towards meaningful action that reflects reconciliation. As educators, we are dedicated to being on a continuous learning journey.

Under the guidance and recommendations of the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee (IEAC) we have taken the appropriate action to remove the Every Child Matters flag from the flagpole at 220 Portsmouth Avenue and to fly the Canadian flag at half-mast. We will be hanging the Every Child Matters flag in the window of the Board Office where it can be a visible representation of our continued commitment to Indigenous Education, truth and reconciliation, and our support and care for the Indigenous members of the Kingston and surrounding communities. 

All schools in the LDSB have been instructed to remove the Every Child Matters flag if it is flying under the Canadian flag. If schools have two flag poles, they have been asked to fly the Every Child Matters flag on a separate pole. If there is only one flagpole, schools are to take down the Every Child Matters flag and hang it in a visible space in their learning communities. We have taken this action on the recommendations of the IEAC and in the understanding that it is the right thing to do.

We are thankful to the Indigenous community members for expressing their concerns surrounding the original flying of the Every Child Matters flag and the accompanied social media post.  On the cusp of September 30th, Orange Shirt Day and the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we understand that this added additional weight to those already navigating a difficult and emotional time. We have been fortunate to have a community who is dedicated to working together and we are happy that we can rectify this situation in order to move forward in a good way. 

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.