REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is encouraging residents of the province to participate in “Orange Shirt Day” by wearing orange and reflecting on residential schools.
“This annually proclaimed day is an opportunity for all of us to take time to think about residential schools and grow in our understanding of this history,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA president.
Orange Shirt Day is officially proclaimed 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.
“Learning about our shared history by recognizing the truths about the past and advocating for understanding is vital,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “Everyone has a role to play in reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day provides an opportunity for our province to recognize the history and impact of residential schools as we continue on the path to healing.”
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.