Dear Elementary Campus Parents:

Sunday, September 30 is Orange Shirt Day.  On this day, Canadians are urged to wear orange shirts to honour and promote awareness of the Indian residential school system and the impact this system had on Indigenous communities for more than a century in Canada.

(Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Shirt_Day)

Orange Shirt Day is discussed in some of our classes as part of the Social Studies curriculum.  We have not, however, observed this day as a campus.  This year, and moving forward, we will observe Orange Shirt Day in the spirit of reconciliation and out of respect for those who were impacted.

As Orange Shirt Day is September 30, a Sunday, we will observe it on Monday, October 1. 

Staff and students are encouraged to wear orange shirts on this day.  In addition, classes will be provided with age appropriate resources that will offer stories about residential schools and the origins of Orange Shirt Day.

We recognize that this is short notice.  While people are asked to wear orange, we understand that getting an orange shirt may be difficult given people’s schedules or the extra, unexpected expense.  In the book, When We Were Alone, the granddaughter asks her grandmother why she always wear bright clothing.  The grandmother explains it is because when she was in residential school, all of her own clothing was taken away from her and she was forced to wear a drab uniform.  If getting an orange shirt is difficult, please encourage your children to wear bright colours on Monday.

 

In future years, we will provide more notice and be proactive in planning Orange Shirt Day.

 

Thanks for your support of this important day of observation.

 

Best regards,

Hal Curties
Principal, Westmount Elementary

 

In order for parents to have a context for discussion with their children, either before or after Orange Shirt Day, we are providing the following links below. 

Parents may use them if they wish:

 

https://ggbooks.ca/when-we-were-alone

 

 

 

http://www.orangeshirtday.org/

 

https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=486780B570329-B112-D70D-A2B9ECFA81CCD419

 

https://49thshelf.com/Lists/Members/2017-37/Books-for-Orange-Shirt-Day

 

If you are interested in learning more, Google “Orange Shirt Day.” and follow the links.