Saskatoon Public Schools recognizes September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — a day to honour the Indigenous children who survived residential schools and remember those who didn't. Recognition of the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange in recognition of that day and there are activities and lessons in the school that foster students' understanding of the impact of residential schools.
The practice of wearing orange began in Williams Lake, B.C. in 2013 where, at a commemoration event at a local residential school, a story was told about a young female student named Phyllis who had her brand-new orange shirt taken away on her first day at the school. The orange shirt is a symbol of the many losses experienced by thousands of students and families due to residential schools.
The phrase "Every Child Matters" is used as part of the movement to recognize the value of every child and for communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for future generations. Learn more at the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation website and at www.orangeshirtday.org
Orange Shirt Day is one of many actions Saskatoon Public Schools has undertaken as part of the school division's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.