Staff and students across the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) are dressed in orange today, September 30, to honour and recognize the injustices that happened in residential schools and how the actions impacted so many young children, their families and their communities.
Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters is an annual event held each year on September 30. It is a chance for classrooms to have meaningful discussions about the harmful effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind.
In addition to wearing orange and having classroom discussions or activities, some classes are participating in a free half-day virtual event being hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“In the UCDSB, we are committed honouring truth and reconciliation and bringing awareness to why days like Orange Shirt Day matter,” says Gail Brant-Terry, UCDSB Principal of Indigenous Education. “Orange Shirt Day is one of the many ways we support and teach Indigenous Education in our school district.”
This special recognition day was created in 2013 and inspired by residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad, who had her new orange shirt taken from her on the first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School.
PHOTO – Students from Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute hold pictures of residential schools with attributed Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action Recommendations.