Legacy Schools: Spring Poster Challenge, Red Dress Day, and More

Thank you to those who applied to the Youth Ambassador program and for a free virtual art workshop – we had over 150 applicants for 20 spots! We will be in touch with selected applicants soon. As well, our Spring Poster Challenge is still open, we can’t wait to see what reconciliACTION means to youth, their family, and community! For details on this and more, check out all the exciting things we are getting up to below.

Indigenous History Month 2022

Indigenous History Month is fast approaching, and to celebrate we’re hosting four virtual events throughout the month of June! In addition to celebrating Indigenous history, culture, and arts, we will also be raising awareness of the true history and impact of Canada’s residential school system.  All peoples in Canada, from coast to coast to coast, are invited to tune in for each of the events.

The themes for this year’s program are reflection, honour, and commitment, and will feature Indigenous teachings, artist performances, and cultural presentations from the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick. Finally, the month will conclude with a special Canada-wide episode

Click here to view the full artist line up and dates that each episode will air.

With so many incredible performances and guests, Indigenous History Month 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting celebration and we hope you will join us!

Red Dress Day – May 5

Students at Ecole Catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys in Woodstock, ON created a display with the names and photos of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit people to raise awareness and create change.

The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S+) is coming up on May 5. This day is also known as Red Dress Day, as it began as an art installation by Jaime Black and as an “aesthetic response to more than 1000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada”.

After obtaining permission to organize a ceremony, two Legacy Schools, Secondary Catholic Notre-Dame and École Catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys in Woodstock, ON prepared a day of recognition for all MMIWG2S+ in our country. This day of mourning and recognition took place on October 22 as part of their Secret Path Week.

May 5: Resources for Schools

Georges P. Vanier Secondary in Courtenay, BC honoured the Red Dress Project.

Learn more about how to include Red Dress Day and the National Inquiry’s Final Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people in your lessons and activities with youth.

The Final Report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG, titled Reclaiming Power and Place, is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts, and Knowledge Keepers who shared their experiences over two years of public hearings and evidence gathering. There are 231 Calls for Justice directed at governments, social service providers, schools, and all people in Canada.

Watch Theland Kicknosway’s previous DWF LIVE session where he discusses the importance of understanding MMIWG2S+ and their families.

Reclaiming Power and Place

Red Dress Project

Legacy Schools MMIWG2S+ Resources

Spring Poster Challenge

Liam, a student from Ecole James Nisbet Community School in Winnipeg, MB submitted this poster in response to the question, “What does allyship mean to you?” a few years ago.

Spring Poster Challenge 2022: What does reconciliACTION mean to you?

As part of the Legacy Schools Program, participants are encouraged to engage in reconciliACTIONs throughout the year. This year, students and youth are asked to create a poster that answers the question: what does reconciliACTION mean to you, your family, or your community?

View our Poster Challenge details


  • Students will win an amazing prize pack including an Orange Shirt from DWF.
  • Teachers with the most class participation will be entered into a draw to win a classroom set of DWF Orange Shirts.

Six Categories:

  • Elementary Pre-K – Grade 5 (ages 4-10 years)
  • Middle Grade 6 – 8 (11-13 years)
  • Secondary/High School 9-12 (14-18 years)
  • Post-secondary education/Young Adult (18-25 years)
  • Youth Group or Club

Class/Group with most submissions (up to 25 Orange Shirts will be offered to leader/teacher in charge)

Deadline: Friday, May 13, 2022.

Winners Announced: Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Prizes will be mailed out to schools or homes based on safety and health measures in place in that region.

Submissions should be high quality artwork 8.5×11 inches, at 300 dpi resolution.

Submit PDF files here

Tell us How we’re Doing!

It’s spring and the end of the school year is in slight! We want to hear about your experience with the Legacy Schools program and how we can improve our toolkits and booster packs coming in September. Please take a moment to complete our survey and a chance to win a DWF Prize pack!

Fill out the Survey

Moving schools? Taking a leave of absence? Changing Clubs? Let us know!

We’re getting ready to send you some amazing updated materials in September’s Booster Kits that you won’t want to miss! Please let us know if you’re changing positions so we can send your Legacy Schools Booster Kit to your new location or pass it along to someone who is taking over for you.

Update Contact Information

Upcoming DWF Live & Events

Each month, Indigenous artists and leaders will join Legacy Schools classrooms and youth groups for live performances, storytelling, and more as we continue to explore how we can all move reconciliation forward. Sign your Legacy School group up today for free to engage with our Artist Ambassadors each month.

Stephanie Harpe | Voice for Indigenous Peoples Rights

When: Monday, April 25th at 1:00pm EST

Stephanie is an International Advocate for Murdered or Missing and Exploited Indigenous Peoples (MMEIP), a murder attempt survivor, and a family member of MMEIP who was also a part of public testimony for the national inquiry. Harpe is an acclaimed Indigenous advocate whose notable achievements include being a keynote speaker for the United Nations, traveling to 45 Indigenous communities in western Canada, and hosting a MMEIP support group for three years.

Register Here

Legacy Schools: ReconciliACTIONS

Ms. Tenenbaum’s class at Thomas Lester Wells Public School in Toronto, ON has been unpacking Chanie’s residential school experience through the artwork of the ”Secret Path”.

Ms. Tenenbaum’s class at Thomas Lester Wells Public School in Toronto, ON has been examining the Secret Path using the art of Jeff Lemire to unpack Chanie’s residential school experience. After reading the “Secret Path”, students analyzed the imagery in two of the songs. Following their analysis, they selected a powerful image from the book and recreated the picture using the same watercolour and ink techniques Lemire uses in his illustrations. Thank you for sharing your students’ beautiful artwork, and inspiring others to take reconciliACTION, Ms. Tenenbaum!.

Send us your ReconciliACTIONS

We love seeing and sharing what our Legacy Schools are doing! Send us your reconciliACTIONs for a chance to be featured in our ReconciliACTION Guidebook, in next year’s Legacy School materials, and other DWF communications!

Submit Yours Here

Share your ReconciliACTIONs on social media

We love seeing the change you’re making – and so does the DWF community! Share your photos and tag us on social media @downiewenjack and we’ll try our best to share with our networks.