Every Child Matters at OES
Posted on October 1st, 2017
On the morning of Thursday, September 28th students from grades 5 and 7 took part in Orange Shirt Day to bring awareness to others about residential schools and our journey of reconciliation at Onoway Elementary School. Stones were painted by grades 5 and 7 students during the 2016-17 school year which depict images that represent indigenous ways of knowing and being. Current students in grades 5 and 7 placed these commemorative rocks in our memorial garden. Students in 5 and 7, along with staff, were also wearing Orange shirts to spread awareness that Every Child Matters. Why Orange Shirts? Well watch the video linked here to find out...
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.
The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.
Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.