Langley students take part in learning on Orange Shirt Day

September 30, 2020

Schools around the District wear orange shirts on September 30th every year as part of Orange Shirt Day, to recognize survivors of Residential Schools and those we have lost. It is also a day to acknowledge that “Every Child Matters”.

“Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at a Residential school,” says District Principal of the Aboriginal Program, Mike Pue, “and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of Residential schools happening annually.”

Classes took part in learning that helped student’s understand the impacts of Residential Schools on the First Nation’s communities.

“While the learning opportunities will focus on having a better understanding of the history of Residential schools and the long lasting effects that it has had on Aboriginal peoples and communities,” says Pue, “many will also ask students and staff to reflect on their own story and how they can engage in the process of reconciliation.”

At Aldergrove Community Secondary School AVID program students organized an activity to raise awareness of Orange Shirt Day. Students wrote their reflections on what the day meant to them on orange paper t-shirts.

Over to Peter Ewart Middle School students gathered in a circle and passed around a talking stick to ask difficult questions and shared their thoughts.

Activities are taking place across the District to discuss Canada’s difficult past and look ahead to the future.