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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Orange Shirt Day

Every Child Matters

Orange Shirt Poster, September 29, 2017 - Every Child Matters
The Equity, Diversity, and Indigenous Education Department of the Toronto Catholic District Board is pleased to extend an invitation to its schools and communities to participate in Orange Shirt Day-Every Child Matters on Friday, September 28, 2018.  Orange Shirt Day acknowledges the issue of Residential Schools in order to move forward in reconciliation with the hope of creating space for learning about Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Orange Shirt Day is a national movement that officially began in 2013.  The day commemorates the experience of six year old Phyllis Webstad who in 1973 entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, outside of Williams Lake, BC. Young Phyllis was wearing a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school, but her shirt was taken away from her upon arrival at the school.
Orange Shirt Day calls on every Canadian to wear an orange shirt on September 30th in a the spirit of healing and reconciliation by recognizing the issue of residential schools, honouring the survivors and victims, and making a collective effort to ensure that every child matters.  The date September 30th was chosen because that was the time of the year that Government of Canada’s trucks and buses would enter Indigenous communities to collect and deliver children to the residential schools.
Indian residential schools operated across Canada between 1831 and 1996. In its comprehensive report in June 2015 on the residential school policy, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada declares "establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”

Since September 30th falls on a Sunday this year, we will acknowledge Orange Shirt Day on Friday, September 28, 2018 by inviting all of our community to wear Orange Shirts, and spend a part of the day learning about Indigenous peoples in Canada.  It is a valuable opportunity to read stories, write reflections, and have deep discussions on this significant part of Canada’s History.
We are including a resource package to assist with teaching and learning about residential schools. We encourage schools to engage in learning as appropriate to the age and readiness of students.  We hope that this learning  will also support the themes of anti-racism, anti-bullying, and most importantly foster a sense of belonging and inclusion in alignment with the first year of our Three-Year Pastoral Plan, Rooted in Christ: we Belong, we Believe, we Become. 

 We would be happy to provide further assistance as needed.  Please contact the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Indigenous Education Resource Teachers.  The contact information is below.
Nick D'Avella
Superitendent of Equity, Diversity, and Indigenous Education
Vanessa Pinto​​ ​​                                                          Frank Pio
Indigenous Education Resource Teacher                 Indigenous Education Resource Teacher
Toronto Catholic District School Board                     Toronto Catholic District School Board 
Indigenous Education Department                           Indigenous Education Department​
Telephone: 416-222-8282 x2519                              Cell: 647-546-2347
                                                                                 Voice mail: 416-397-6800​                          
Email:                              Email:​                     


C/O Equity, Diversity, and Indigenous Education   
80 Sheppard Ave. E., Toronto ON M2N 6E8


Some photos from Orange Shirt Day 2017:

Orange Shirt Day Pic Collage 2017.jpg
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