Rainbow Schools invited to wear orange on Thursday

MANITOULIN—Staff and students in Rainbow Schools have been invited to wear orange on Thursday, September 27 to show support for residential school survivors. 

Orange Shirt Day recognizes the effects and intergenerational impacts of the residential school system on First Nation, Métis and Inuit children in Canada.

“This important gesture will bring us together in the spirit of reconciliation,” says Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “It provides an opportunity for staff to open up or continue the conversation about residential schools with students.”

“Participation in Orange Shirt Day demonstrates our collective commitment to building our ongoing understanding,” he added. “We invite everyone to wear orange and show students that every child matters.”

Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, British Columbia by the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration project. Phyllis Webstad, a young girl from the Dog Creek reserve, attended the Mission in 1973, where her clothes were removed, including her brand new orange shirt. 

Phyllis’ story inspired the Mission to declare September 30 Orange Shirt Day, as this was the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to attend residential schools. 

In light of the Professional Activity Day on Friday, September 28, students and staff in Rainbow Schools will wear orange on Thursday, September 27.

To learn more, visit www.orangeshirtday.org/phyllis-story.html.