Honouring Residential Schools at Orange Shirt Day

By Ms. Molly Young, Junior School Service Director

From September 25 to October 1, WPGA will participate in Orange Shirt Day to raise awareness about residential schools in Canada. In place of orange shirts, orange wristbands will be distributed to students October 1 (junior school) and October 4 (senior school) as a symbol of empowerment and in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations to come.

In the Junior School, students are developing their learning about the history of residential schools at sessions with our librarians (JK-3) and social studies teachers (grades 4/5) and at an assembly (grades 6/7). Books about residential schools and First Peoples are on display in the library. 

In the Senior School, English classes are examining residential schools and their impact on our First Peoples, then and today. An assembly October 3 will include a video presentation on residential schools.  

About Orange Shirt Day:
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis’s account of losing her new orange shirt on her first day of school at the Mission, and has since become an opportunity to continue the discussion on the history of residential schools. The date was chosen because children are back in school and teachers have time to plan and because it helps set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the year.