On September 30, 2020, students and staff from across the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) commemorated Orange Shirt Day to acknowledge the impact of the residential school system, raise awareness and honour Indigenous communities, and promote reconciliation.
In recognition of this day, students and staff wore an orange shirt in honour of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, whose beautiful orange shirt was taken away from her on her first day of school at St. Joseph Mission residential school.
Schools were encouraged to share messages of hope and reconciliation, and the impact they are making on Orange Shirt Day. To view how YCDSB schools honoured this day, follow @FNMI_YCDSB, @YCDSB and #OrangeShirt_ycdsb on Twitter.
YCDSB encourages everyone to continue the conversation, this day and always, so that we may contribute to our efforts of truth and reconciliation.
Take a look at how some of our schools honoured this day:
Blessed Trinity CES
Students and staff at Blessed Trinity CES honoured Orange Shirt day by wearing an orange shirt, reading and learning about the significant impact of residential schools on the Indigenous community and Canadian history.
Catholic Education Centre
Staff at the Catholic Education Centre honoured Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange to show their solidarity with Indigenous community members and made a call on all educators to work towards truth and reconciliation each and every day.
Father Michael McGivney CA
The student government at Father Michael McGivney CA called on their classmates to join them, in the spirit of reconciliation and hope, to honour all those who attended residential schools and all those who were affected.
Our Lady of Grace CES
In honour of Orange Shirt Day, students and staff at Our Lady of Grace CES wore orange, praying and spent their day listening and learning about truth and reconciliation, residential schools and its impact on Canadian history.
Students also made a pledge to remember what the children and families of the residential school system experienced and made a promise to actively work toward reconciliation and to be advocates for a better future for all of God’s children.
Our Lady of the Rosary CES
Students at Our Lady of the Rosary CES spent the day learning, unlearning and remembering the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community’s hardships experienced in the residential school system.
Prince of Peace CES
Students and staff at Prince of Peace CES commemorated Orange Shirt Day by creating artwork and posters to help raise awareness and unite in a spirit of reconciliation and look ahead with hope and compassion because every child matters.
St. Agnes of Assisi CES
Grade 1 and 2 students from St. Agnes of Assisi CES commemorated Orange Shirt Day by creating posters in honour of all those who were affected and displayed the artwork at the school as a continual reminder that every child matters.
St. Augustine CHS
On Orange Shirt Day, students at St. Augustine CHS’ art class utilized their artistic abilities to decorate the exterior of their school to commemorate all those affected from the residential school system. Students also created commemorative t-shirts in honour of this day.
St. Brother Andre CHS
Students at St. Brother Andre CHS’ Functional Life Skills Program (FLS), spent the week leading up to Orange Shirt Day learning about the residential school system and its impact on the Indigenous community.
St. Edward CES
Students at St. Edward CES learned about the impacts of residential schools in Canadian history by reading “When We Were Alone,” written by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett, in honour of Orange Shirt Day.
St. Mark CES
Grade 4 and 5 students at St. Mark CES created commemorative posters in honour of Orange Shirt Day to remember the Indigenous children and families affected by the residential school system.
St. Michael Catholic Academy
St. Michael CA honoured all those affected by the residential school system by acknowledging and raising awareness on its harmful impacts through listening, reading and art.
St. Padre Pio CES
Students and staff at St. Padre Pio CES put together an Orange Shirt Day display to show their support and commitment to the idea that every child matters. Through their lessons, they acknowledged and encouraged each other to be a part of the healing as they work collectively to support Indigenous communities across Canada.
St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS
“I’m still smiling.”
Staff at St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS invited Dave Jones, founder of Turtle Concepts, to educate students on the harmful impacts of the residential school systems. Turtle Concepts hosted a Turtle Talk in honour of Orange Shirt Day and invited his Aunt Dolly, a residential school survivor, to share her experience attending the Shingwauk Indian Residential School.
Watch the full video below.
Students and staff also put together a video educating fellow Canadians about Orange Shirt Day.
Watch the full video below.