September 25, 2019

Peel board goes orange on Sept. 27 to commemorate the residential school experience and its impact on Indigenous Peoples

The Peel District School Board will recognize Orange Shirt Day to commemorate the legacy of residential schools. Although the day is observed on Sept. 30, Peel board schools and worksites will recognize the day on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Students and staff will wear orange shirts as schools explore resources to help students understand the difficult history of residential schools. Families should check with their child's school to confirm the date of recognition.

"Orange Shirt Day is a time for all of us to reflect on the impact of residential schools on Indigenous Peoples, their legacy, and to recognize their strength and resilience. On this day and always, it's a time for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter," says Peter Joshua, director of education. "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." 

Students throughout Peel will observe the day with meaningful activities and events. Students at Bramalea Secondary School will create pins and participate in "Drop Everything and Read" (DEAR) readings . The school's Social Justice Committee will also invite students to write a message to residential school survivors that will be displayed on a large orange t-shirt shaped poster. Bramalea Secondary School is located at 510 Balmoral Drive in Brampton.

At Lisgar Middle School, students and staff will hold a school-wide assembly on Sept. 27 to honour residential school survivors and their families. Throughout the day, students will engage in Attachment Hearts activities in the school's learning gardens. Students will conclude the day with a walk to finish Chanie Wenjack's walk. Lisgar Middle School is located at 6755 Lisgar Drive in Mississauga.

Consider the following resources to continue the discussion on Orange Shirt Day outside of the classroom: 

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.

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​Media contact: 
Cheryl Payne, instructional coordinator of indigenous education, 905-890-1010 ext. 3267, [email protected]  

Reference: 
Veronica Pang, communications assistant, 905-890-1010 ext. 2098, [email protected] 
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