Orange Shirt Day is being commemorated in Saskatchewan to remember those who died at residential schools in the country and to honour those who survived.
The last residential school closed in 1996 in Punnichy, Sask. – it’s focus… to ‘take the Indian out of the kid.’
The story behind the annual commemoration is of a six-year-old girl who was punished in 1973, for wearing her favorite orange shirt on the first day of residential school.
As a result, many people wear an orange shirt on Sept. 30 each year, to ensure the stain on Canada’s history is never forgotten.
“I think it’s for people to understand what that system was all about and how it impacted our generations and how we want to have children understand this relationship that indigenous people have had with Canada and with the government,” said Theresa Walter, Royal Sask. Museum First Nations Programming Specialist.
In Regina, an Elder told his story of growing up in a residential school to nearly 400 students at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
Educational posters for each of the 21 residential schools that were in Saskatchewan were displayed prominently in Victoria Park.
In Saskatoon, Catholic students took part in a reconciliation walk, sharing their hopes and dreams for survivors.
Of the 94 recommendations in the truth and reconciliation report, 27 refer directly to reconciliation for the trauma caused by residential schools.
– With files from Colton Praill