Monday, September 30 marks the third year the Lloydminster Public School Division is partaking in Orange Shirt Day.
Last week, students in different schools were taught about what happened at Residential Schools and how it impacted the kids, parents and communities. They were able to purchase this years new orange shirt that says in English, all children are sacred.
The first Residential School opened in 1831, in Brantford Ontario. Over time, there was 130 schools in total. The most ran at once was in 1931 with 80 running in Canada.
Clint Chocan, Coordinator of Learning and Instruction, explains how this day was created.
“A lady by the name Phyllis Webstad, went to her first day of school wearing an orange shirt. And when she arrived there, she was stripped of her orange shirt and she never received her orange shirt again.” Phyllis Webstad was attending a survivor’s meeting when she told her experience. The orange shirt was given to her by her grandmother.
“Basically, Orange Shirt Day is the commemoration of all the Residential School survivors that attended Residential Schools in the past 130 years,” says Chocan.
LCHS has a group called Small Fires, which is wanting to expand to other schools. Alexa Blyan, Grade 12 student, is part of the group and says explains why it’s important to her that we participate.
“It’s important, not only so that we take responsibility for the past, but like I said, also to help build a future where we remember our past but use it to create something better instead of just ignoring it.”
Orange Shirt Day will happen again next year on Wednesday, September 30.