Orange Shirt Day or Proud to be a Canadian spirit day

We just wanted to clarify the observation of Orange Shirt Day and our Proud to be a Canadian spirit day which were both scheduled on the same day, Friday, Sept 28th.

Our Proud to be a Canadian spirit day will still take place this Friday.

With our School Board’s permission, we have rescheduled Orange Shirt Day to Monday, October 1st to ensure both observations have the dedicated time they deserve.

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day is observed each September 30 to honour residential school survivors, those who did not survive, and their descendants. The origin of Orange Shirt Day is based on Phyllis Webstad’s story of entering an Indian Residential School in 1973 and having her new orange shirt removed from her and replaced with a school uniform. Her experience of having her orange shirt being taken from her is symbolic of all that was taken from Indigenous peoples as a result of Indian Residential Schools and is the reason we wear orange on September 30.

For well over a century, Indian Residential Schools were used as a tool to assimilate Indigenous peoples into the dominant Canadian culture. Established in 1892 by the Canadian government, in partnership with churches, Indigenous children were often moved long distances from their families and lived at the schools. Once at school, Indigenous children were forbidden to speak their languages nor practice their cultures and traditions. Living conditions for students in Indian Residential Schools were often harsh and there was often significant emotional, physical and sexual abuse of the students.