Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Orange Shirt Day 2020 builds on reconciliation across British Columbia and in Prince Rupert

Another step towards reconciliation comes today as staff and students in Prince Rupert, at the elementary, secondary and college level observe Orange Shirt Day. 

This year marking the seventh commemoration of awareness sharing of the harm of the Residential School program of the past.

First observed by Indigenous leaders in the Williams Lake region, the day commemorates the history of Phyllis Webstad, a residential school survivor of St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake.

Her story of the day that School officials took away her Orange shirt, leaving her to feel as though she no longer mattered has built the foundation for the awareness raising that has progressed since 2013.

The day serves as a way to look back at our history and how the Residential School program created pain and harm for Indigenous people, offering a path forward towards our work on further reconciliation.

Towards further understanding. Ms. Webstad and Joan Sorley have developed a 156 page book that will help to educate students on the history of residential schools, its designed for students at Grade Five and above, but makes for an excellent resource work for parents and the general public as well.

Next week, Coast Mountain College will be hosting an online Brown Bag Lunch presentation with Phyllis Webstad, providing an opportunity to learn more about the Residential School system and the creation of Orange Shirt Day. That presentation takes place Monday from Noon to 1PM, learn more about how to join in on it here.

At SD52 Wap Sigatgyet has posted some resources to seek out for Orange Shirt Day 2020, the focus is on reading material, as well as video and spoken word projects which add to the story so far.

More on the province wide observance of Orange Shirt Day can be explored from the organizations website and Facebook page.

In Prince Rupert you can follow the progress of Orange shirt Day through the SD52 Social media feeds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Coast Mountain College themes on the day can be explored through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.

For a look at Aboriginal Education in Prince Rupert visit the Wap Sigatgyet page part of the SD52 website

Further notes on education in the Northwest can be found from our archive page here.

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