REGINA – Joining with communities across the country, schools throughout the province will again be officially recognizing “Orange Shirt Day” on Friday, Sept. 30, as requested annually by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
Sept. 30 has also been proclaimed federally as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“This day represents an opportunity for each one of us to think about residential schools, expand our understanding of this history and commit to growing together through education toward reconciliation,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA president.
“On behalf of our 27 member boards of education, the SSBA is encouraging school communities, and all residents of the province, to participate in Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange and taking the time to reflect on residential schools this Friday.”
Orange Shirt Day is part of a larger movement in the country to provide opportunity to unite in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for future generations. The movement is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in B.C. in 2013, emerging out of the account of a young girl having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school.
The 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. The Government of Saskatchewan proclaims the day each year at the SSBA’s request.
“Orange Shirt Day encourages Saskatchewan schools, communities, and residents to learn and talk about our commitments to truth and reconciliation and to help build more inclusive communities for the future,” said Education Minister Dustin Duncan. “This day provides Saskatchewan schools with important opportunities to come together and have meaningful dialogue in the spirit of reconciliation.”