REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is encouraging everyone to wear orange and to reflect on residential schools for the second officially proclaimed “Orange Shirt Day” in the province.
“Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for discussion to happen about residential schools,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA president. “It is important to build understanding about this history of our province and country.”
Orange Shirt Day is recognized on Sept. 30 each year and is part of a larger movement in the country to provide opportunity for First Nations, governments, schools and communities to unite in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
“The history of residential schools is an essential part of our history,” Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “While it is embedded throughout our elementary and high school curricula, Orange Shirt Day provides an important opportunity for students and school communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation.”
The Orange Shirt Day movement is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, B.C., in 2013. It grew out of the account of a young girl having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the mission.
At the SSBA Spring General Assembly in 2016, members passed a resolution to request that the Government of Saskatchewan officially recognize Orange Shirt Day.