Students in the Lloydminster Public School Division’s online courses had a chance to gather commemorating two national days of remembrance.
The day was held at Bud Miller Park and saw kids from various schools attend along with their families. Students ran to commemorate the work Terry Fox did to raise cancer awareness and helping fundraise themselves for the Canadian Cancer Society. The day was socially distanced, being divided into smaller groups staggered throughout the day and also served as a way for the online students to have a social outlet.
Torrie Oliver, an LPSD Online Learning Administrator, says she remembers how Terry Fox inspired people and continues to inspire them to donate to cancer research and run for cancer awareness.
“As educators, we continue to talk about him at this time every year. We continue to talk about what kind of a hero he was, how he did things that the average person can’t do, and those are kinds of things that make people come, [and] want to be a part of this.”
The day also served as a way for students in these online classes to mark Orange Shirt Day. The national commemoration remembers and educates people on the treatment of Indigenous children in Canada’s residential schools, and it’s ongoing impact.
It also honours the healing process of survivors and their families, and the ongoing commitment to reconciliation. The day’s name comes from the story of six-year-old Phyllis Webstad, who had a special orange shirt gifted from her grandmother taken when she arrived at a Residential School.
Oliver explains that seeing all the children in orange shirts is empowering, and the day presents the trauma of Residental Schools in a way kids can understand, at an age-appropriate level.
“Kids have things that are special to them, and when you can equate it to this young child who had this thing that was so important to her, and it was taken away from her, kids can really relate to that. That’s the power of orange shirt day, that it does relate to kids, and they can understand how terrible and how awful that would be.”
Oliver adds that this serves as a way for kids to begin the ongoing learning process about this part of Canadian history. Orange Shirt Day is marked every September 30th across Canada.