Truth and Reconciliation Day is approaching on September 30, to honor the Survivors of Residential Schools and the Native Community. Oak Learners is lucky to have a diverse group of dedicated teachers, including Doran Reed, who identifies as a Non-Status Metis. Doran is a local artist in the Mimico community, as well as one of our kindergarten teachers. She took inspiration from the eagle in the native culture, to create a beautiful design for our Orange Shirts. Doran’s family originates from the Manitoulin Islands, and her mother’s family are all direct descent. Doran consistently heard stories from her mother about the disregard and negative attitudes she would get from her peers, due to her mother’s heritage. This inspired her to want to learn more about her background, and create a positive environment for everyone of Native Heritage in any way she can. The shirts are for sale on the Oak Learners Website and all proceeds are being donated to The Downie and Wenjack Fund.
The Downie and Wenjack Fund was created by Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack, with the ultimate purpose of improving the lives of Indigenous people. They create connections for these communities to “build awareness, education and connections between all people in Canada,” along with encouraging understanding of general mental health issues, and how to approach them, as this is regularly disregarded in the Native Community. Our proceeds will go directly to this fund in hopes of furthering their long journey towards improving Indigenous life.
To learn more about the Downie and Wenjack Fund, you can visit their website: https://downiewenjack.ca/
Charlotte Reed, the author of this blog, is Doran Reed’s younger sister. She also identifies as a Non-Status Metis, and is very passionate about the Native Community because of her mother’s history and heritage.
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