Beginning in 2013, Orange Shirt Day events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
With many events going online this year in support of the commemoration, Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the legacy and impact these schools have had on our communities and how the effects of colonialism continue to impact Indigenous lives, according to Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann (PhD), vice-provost, Indigenous Engagement at USask.
“This day in particular is an opportunity for all of us to take part in shared listening, reading and viewing experiences. It is a time to share, talk about ideas, attend or participate in familiar events, and to share personal experiences,” said Ottmann. “By participating we can learn more about the true history of residential schools, and you are taking a concrete step on your path to reconciliation.”
One such event offered is the USask College of Engineering’s discussion with Elders Rick Daniels and Frank Badger. You can join the discussion through Eventbrite or this Facebook page: @USaskIndigenousEngineeringinitiatives
Staff and faculty are also encouraged to wear an Orange Shirt to show support for this day. Upload your photos to Facebook and tag with #USaskOrangeShirtDay.
September 30, the ongoing date for Orange Shirt Day, has become a legacy project and each year there are increasing resources available to school age children and to our communities so that we can learn, explore and discuss what the phrase “Every Child Matters” means.