Throughout the week of September 26 – September 30, students across the Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) will be wearing orange and reflecting upon the legacy of residential schools.
Students will participate in a number of education and respect-based events including, singing O Canada in Cree, visiting the Healing Garden at the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, hosting an Orange Float fundraiser for Shannen’s Dream, playing Indigenous games, and taking part in land-based activities.
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/.