September 27, 2018

Peel board goes orange 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 history and legacy of residential schools. Although the day is observed on Sept. 30, Peel board schools and worksites will recognize the day on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. Balanced calendar schools will recognize it on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. Students and staff will wear orange shirts as schools explore resources to help students understand the difficult history of residential schools. 

"Orange Shirt Day is a time for all of us to reflect on the impact of Canada's history on Indigenous Peoples and to recognize their strength and resilience," 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 Homestead Public School will participate in a school-wide assembly. They will also explore the meaning of the day through picture books, student generated inquiry and discussions in the classroom. Grade five students will be learning from Anishinaabe knowledge keeper Kim Wheatley. Homestead Public School is located at 99 Fletcher's Creek Boulevard in Brampton. 

At The Woodlands School, students and staff will paint rocks for their Reconciliation Garden. At lunch, they will gather around the garden to share their personal reflections. The Woodlands School is located at 3225 Erindale Station Road 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, I​​nstructional Coordinator of Indigenous Education, 905-890-1010 ext. 3267, cheryl.payne@peelsb.com  

Reference: Veronica Pang, Communications Assistant, 905-890-1010 ext. 2098, veronica.pang@peelsb.com

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