REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is encouraging everyone to wear orange and to think about residential schools as “Orange Shirt Day” is officially proclaimed in the province.
“There is an opportunity around Orange Shirt Day for reflection to occur regarding residential schools,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA president. “We need to keep building understanding about this shared history.”
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.
“Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to honour the residential school students and acknowledge their experiences,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “We want to ensure that all Saskatchewan people take the time to understand the impact of residential schools.”
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.
Orange Shirt Day was first proclaimed in Saskatchewan in 2016, in response to a resolution passed by the province’s trustees at the SSBA Spring General Assembly.