Throughout the week of September 27 – October 1, students across the Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) will reflect on the legacy of residential schools through Orange Shirt Day (OSD) events. Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange shirts as they learn about Indigenous history and culture, and the importance of reconciliation through discussions, videos, Indigenous games, and special fundraisers.
On September 30, PWPSD will acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis survivors and their families, and communities. All PWPSD schools and offices will be closed.
Orange Shirt Day is a reconciliation movement that grew from the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemorative event held in Williams Lake, B.C. in 2013. Based on former student Phyllis Webstad’s account of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school, the awareness campaign is an opportunity to continue the discussion on all aspects of residential schools. The September date chosen for the observance reflects the time of year when children were taken from their homes. For more information about Orange Shirt Day and its resources, visit https://www.orangeshirtday.org/.