We are encouraging all students and staff at Bayview Glen P.S. to wear an orange shirt to school on Thursday September 30th.
September 30th is Binoojiinyag Mikwendaamowin Giizhigad, the Day For Remembering Children. In July 2021, the Federal government passed legislation to make this date a Federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The Orange Shirt Day movement started in 2013 to highlight the pain and suffering of thousands of Indigenous children who were sent to residential school throughout the last century. The colour of the shirt is connected to the experience of Phyllis Webstad who was sent to Cariboo Residential School near Williams Lake, BC, in 1973. Six-years old at the time, Phyllis went to her first day of school wearing a new bright orange shirt. New clothes were a rare thing for the young girl, who was being raised by her grandmother. However, upon arriving at the school, she was forced to remove her orange shirt and wear the school’s institutional uniform instead.
As we have learned over the past months, First Nations have located the unmarked graves of thousands of Indigenous children at the sites of former Residential Schools. As Canadians, we have had to rethink what we thought we knew about these institutions and revisit the way they are understood in the context of our nation’s story.
The orange shirt has gone on to become a symbol of a national movement that recognizes the suffering of Indigenous children at residential schools across the country and to show a renewed commitment to ensure that every child matters.
Across the York Region District School Board, staff and students will wear orange shirts on September 30th in the spirit of Reconciliation and to stand in solidarity with survivors and all those impacted by residential schools.
You can learn more here.