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Orange Shirt Day Supported by Students in Burnaby Schools

Orange Shirt Day (September 30) is one of the visible ways our District strives to highlight our shared history in Canada and honour those who attended residential schools.

Every year, teachers, staff and students wear orange shirts to both acknowledge the day and reinforce that every child matters.

This year Burnaby Schools recognized Orange Shirt Day in a variety of ways. Examples include school assemblies with musical performances, spoken word, media presentations by students, staff, and guests to promote understanding, and reflection. The discussions help build students’ understanding of the history of residential schools in Canada.

Of particular note this year was an event hosted by the Indigenous Leadership Class at Burnaby South Secondary. They created their own video explaining the experience of youth in residential schools that will be shown in each classroom. Teachers prepared lessons to support the information in the video.

Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake in 2013 and has since spread to schools across Canada. School Districts ask students to wear orange as a way to honour “Phyllis’ story” and generate discussion. Phyllis is from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. As a young girl, she had her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day at a residential school in Mission, BC. The day is also a way to come together as a community in the spirit of reconciliation, particularly as it relates to residential schools.

Posted September 2019