September 25, 2020

Peel students and staff honour Residential School Survivors on Orange Shirt Day

On Sept. 30, students and staff at the Peel District School Board will recognize Orange Shirt Day to commemorate Residential School Survivors. Students will engage in meaningful learning experiences to learn the history, legacy and impact of the Residential School System on First Nations, Métis and Inuit families, as well as develop ways to participate in reconciliation.

"Peel board schools and worksites are committed to amplifying the voices of Indigenous Peoples and to acting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action through the board's Plan for Student Success," says Colleen Russell-Rawlins, interim director of education. "We will continue to put the focus on Indigenous education and to relearning the past to help all students understand the true history of Canada."

Although the shift to online learning has altered the way schools would normally honour this day, many classes will participate in virtual activities, including events by The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and The Woodland Cultural Centre

Staff and students are encouraged to wear orange shirts on Sept. 30 as they engage in learning activities. The Peel board's Indigenous Education and Equity department has also provided the following resources to continue the discussion 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 up her new orange shirt 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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Reference: Cheryl Payne, Instructional Coordinator of Indigenous Education, 905-890-1010 ext. 3267, [email protected]

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