It was a few days ago but I didn't want to let Orange Shirt Day slip away without writing a quick post about it.
Here in Canada, September 30 is Orange Shirt Day. On this day we wear orange in commemoration of the victims and survivors of Residential Schools (a dark part of our history) and to remember that Truth & Reconciliation is an ongoing process.
The very first residential school was opened in the late 1800s and the last one closed in 1996. Canadian First Nations children were taken from their homes and families to live in these schools. There they were not allowed to use their own Indigenous names, speak their own language, practice their own religion, or follow any of their cultural practices and traditions. There were also cases of abuse, illness, and death.
This September 29, we recognized Orange Shirt Day at St. Jude's. Orange shirts were chosen based on one girl's story. Her grandmother gave her a new, shiny orange shirt to wear to her new school. On the first day it was brutally taken from her and destroyed. You can see her story here.
It was so wonderful to see a see of orange at the PYP morning announcements and a lot of orange in the Upper Years, too.
Many of the PYP classes also designed their own paper Orange Shirts which we displayed throughout the school.
As the librarian, I am currently seeking out some quality books and resources on the residential schools in Canada to add to our collection.
In the meantime, you may want to check out The Secret Path by Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip.