Statement on behalf of the Grand Erie District School Board
Christina Speers, Trustee for Brant County and Norfolk County (Wards 3 & 7) has tendered her resignation, effective immediately. The Grand Erie District School Board acknowledges her resignation without hesitation. Ms. Speers’s resignation follows her Facebook post on Wednesday (September 30) minimizing the significance of Orange Shirt Day.
As Trustees of the Board, we want to be very clear: we denounce the views expressed by Ms. Speers as they do not align with Grand Erie’s commitment to Equity as seen through our Multi-Year Plan and our focus on promoting practices that “help students, families and staff feel safe, welcomed and included.”
In the strongest possible terms, we want to reaffirm our commitment to the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report as well as the important relationships we have with our Indigenous communities.
Grand Erie whole-heartedly honours Orange Shirt Day. Our educators and staff share a wide range of grade-appropriate resources with students so they can understand the impact of Canada’s residential school system. These resources, many of which were developed locally by our Indigenous Education staff along with the assistance of the Woodland Cultural Centre, Six Nations of the Grand River, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, help us all to understand the traumatic and inter-generational impact residential schools have on our Indigenous students and their families. This critical and important learning doesn’t begin and end on Orange Shirt Day, it is ongoing for all Grand Erie students, staff and trustees.
As a Board, we’re committed to listening and learning, to having necessary conversations, and to building relationships built on mutual respect, openness and understanding so that we can be allies for our Indigenous students as well as all racialized students in our Board.