September 30th is Orange Shirt Day

September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day.  On September 30th, all Canadians are invited to wear an orange shirt to honour Indigenous people and to show a commitment to the idea that every child matters.

It is a time for remembering — to recall Canada’s residential schools and their sad effects on Indigenous families and cultures. It is a time for healing — to celebrate the beautiful gifts of Indigenous cultures. It is a time for hope — for us to walk forward together as children of God’s loving family. Today we focus on healing. Every time we welcome someone as they are, we are helping to heal. Every time we show friendship, inclusion and kindness, we are helping to heal. Every time we stand up for the dignity of someone’s culture and identity, we are helping to heal.

Join us in prayer:

God our Creator, 

You heal broken hearts with Your love, and call us to share this love with one another. 

Open our hearts, that we might learn to walk with one another — as Indigenous peoples, peoples of settler origin and newcomers — along Your healing path. 

Give us the courage to see You…in every human face, in every language and culture, in every gift of creation. 

Make us stewards…of one another’s dignity, of one another’s safety, of one another’s lands, of one another’s rights to a cultural identity, as unique peoples…as gifts to the human family…as Your beloved children. 

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Message from Director Domenic Scuglia

Orange Shirt Day Logo Artist Statement

“The design was made to show that reconciliation needs two partners. Walking that path together means it is not one sided. Not only one voice heard but another to answer. In partnership we will work to reconcile. Two powerful symbols of our beliefs, together encircled by people, hand in hand working together. No one better, or worth more than the next, ‘Equality’. This was my vision.”

Todd Jamieson

History of the YCDSB Indigenous Logo

“We commit ourselves to continue accompanying you, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land. Standing in respect of your resiliency, strength and wisdom, we look forward to listening to and learning from you as we walk in solidarity.”

The cross on the shirt is part of a logo that was created in collaboration with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the York Catholic District School Board’s steering committee in 2008. The image itself was created by Todd Jamieson, Indigenous community partner, who has worked with and mentored our learning for the past 14 years. 

The juxta-position of the cross and feather is representative of how as Catholics we can walk together along the path of Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous partners. The motto of the work being done by the Indigenous Steering committee is “Walking the path together.” In Todd’s words, “It is a symbol of your faith, together with a symbol of my faith, embraced in the path of reconciliation together.”  

Through reflection, and thoughtful conversations with Indigenous community partners, Todd Jamieson took more than six months to create this image which has come to represent the commitment of the YCDSB to honouring the truth as we continue along the path of reconciliation together.

This logo has been used for many years on our website, in our communication with staff and families, and it reminds us of the work that has been done and the work that is still to come.

CEC staff stand together in solidarity with Indigenous people everywhere on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.