Board recognizes Orange Shirt Day to raise awareness of residential schools and its impact on Indigenous peoples
The Peel District School Board will recognize Orange Shirt Day to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools. Although Orange Shirt Day is on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, Peel board schools and worksites will recognize the day on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Students and staff will wear orange shirts as schools investigate resources to help students understand the difficult history of residential schools.
"At the Peel board, we want our students and staff to learn, work and develop in environments that are safe, equitable, inclusive, respectful and nurturing," says Peter Joshua, director of education. "Orange Shirt Day provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the strength and fortitude of residential school Survivors and their descendants as we move towards reconciliation. Together, it's important that we honour days of recognition that value equity and inclusion."
Students throughout Peel will celebrate the day with various equity activities and events. Students at Walnut Grove Public School will learn about Orange Shirt Day, and residential schools in their classrooms through picture books, student generated inquiry and classroom discussions. In addition to wearing orange, staff and students will honour Orange Shirt Day with student presentations at a school wide assembly and will complete an honourary orange shirt poster. Walnut Grove Public School is located at 10 Pinestaff Rd. in Brampton.
At Hanover Public School, students and staff will wear orange on Sept. 28 and will gather for a group picture. They plan to place themselves in the shape of a heart - to symbolize their support for the Survivors and families. Hanover Public School is located at 215 Hanover Rd. in Brampton.
Consider the following resources to continue the discussion on Orange Shirt Day outside of the classroom:
A focus on Indigenous education and relearning Canadian history through a more comprehensive settler colonial and Indigenous perspective is an important component of the Board's Plan for Student Success and working towards the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action. The board is proud to support Orange Shirt Day to help engage students in learning about residential schools and its impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
First launched in 2013 in Williams Lake, Orange Shirt Day began when six-year-old Phyllis Webstad, a Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation, was forced to give her new orange shirt taken on the first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission resident school in Williams Lake, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.orangeshirtday.org.
Reference: Nav Sahota, School Communications Specialist, 905-890-1010, ext. 2626,