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Orange Shirt day #Every Child Matters at Michael Power St Joseph School  honours Residential School Survivors

Ms Jennifer Giancola and the Grade 12 Drama Class at Michael Power/St Joseph School

(Ms Jennifer Giancola and the Grade 12 Drama Class at Michael Power/St Joseph School)

Sept 30th is Orange Shirt day and the Every Child Matters Campaign.  It is a day to raise awareness and to honour our country’s Residential school survivors.  The residential school system forcibly separated native children from their families and forbade them to acknowledge their aboriginal heritage, culture or to speak their own language.  Many were abused and made to feel they didn’t matter.

The grade 12 Drama students and staff of Michael Power/St Joseph wore orange on this day to show that their experiences did matter and all children’s feelings matter.
It is only by understanding those mistakes, those things we’ve done poorly in our history, those things of which we are less proud, do we improve as a country and as people. So let us come together in the spirit of healing and reconciliation and let’s set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying and become empowered to help each other—united in the conviction that EVERY CHILD MATTERS!
The day grew out of Phyllis Webstad's story-- a little six year old indigenous girl who had her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school. For years, she couldn't look at the colour orange, the hue reminded her of the year she spent in the place where she was told her culture and history didn't matter.
This orange shirt taken from one child, is a symbol of the many losses experienced by thousands of students, and their families, communities, over several generations including: loss of family, language, culture, freedom, parenting, self esteem and worth and painful experiences of abuse and neglect.
Students at Michael Power/St Joseph were given the opportunity to add messages of Reconciliation and to write ways in which they can help others feel like they matter. These messages were posted on our Reconciliation Tree and on are display in the forum. 
We hope this awareness will help keep this important conversation going.