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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 2:16 PM -0400
Subject:Orange Shirt Day Recognition in Bluewater
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September 30 has been designated Orange Shirt Day in honour of residential school survivors, and for Canadians to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation.  Since this year's date falls on a Saturday, Bluewater District School Board is honouring the occasion by encouraging students and staff to wear orange shirts on Thursday, September 28, 2017.  The theme is "Every Child Matters".    

Group photo image of KDSS students and staff gathered in the gymnasium sporting their orange shirtsOrange Shirt Day was founded by former residential school student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad who, at the age of six years old, had her bright orange shirt confiscated on the first day of school.  Since children were taken to residential school at the end of September, it was decided that Orange Shirt Day would occur annually on September 30.  

A number of Bluewater students and staff are seizing the opportunity on September 28 to initiate conversations, raise important awareness, and learn more about the history of our Indigenous citizens and residential schools.  For example, at Saugeen District Secondary School in Port Elgin, Ms. Roote's Ojibwe class has taken the lead to plan and help organize participation in Orange Shirt Day.  With support from the Saugeen Education Department, T-shirts with the slogan "Every Child Matters" were ordered from a local supplier to be worn by students in the class and some staff members.  The entire school has been encouraged to join them by wearing orange shirts on September 28, which will include a lunchtime group photo in the cafetorium.  Additionally, Ms. Roote's students created a display to demonstrate to the rest of the school how the entire class has been affected by residential schools.  The display involved students putting the names of family members on rocks to honour their relatives and survivors.  Various posters were also created by the Ojibwe students as well as art teacher, Jan Sanagan, to be displayed in classrooms and throughout the school.

At Kincardine District Secondary School, the Native Studies class organized a series of PA announcements to increase awareness of residential schools, and to encourage students to wear orange in memory of those who are/were impacted.  This has resulted in a high rate of Orange Shirt Day participation, as students acknowledge a dark period of Canada's history in a bright colour that also signifies hope for the future.

Please visit www.orangeshirtday.org to learn more about Orange Shirt Day.

Image of SDSS poster promoting Orange Shirt Day, Thursday, September 28; with image of "Every Child Matters" orange T-shirt and information on origin and meaning of Orange Shirt Day