Schools in Mississauga, Brampton will honour victims and survivors on Orange Shirt Day

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Published September 27, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Orange Shirt Day is held annually on Sept. 30 to commemorate the Indigenous victims and survivors of the Residential School System in Canada.

All schools in Peel will be open on Thursday, Sept. 30, but both boards have several plans to incorporate the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation into their curriculum.

The Peel District School Board said it is committed to improving the well-being and achievement of all students, which means confronting anti-Indigenous racism and dismantling the systemic mechanisms that enable anti-Indigenous hate.

“Our publicly stated commitments to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and pandemic health and safety protocols ensure that this occurs through engaging, equitable and inclusive online and in-person learning modalities and through culturally relevant program opportunities,” according to a board spokesperson.

On Thursday, students and staff at the Peel District School Board will recognize Orange Shirt Day to commemorate residential school survivors.

Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange shirts and engage in meaningful learning experiences to learn the history, legacy and impact of the Residential School System on First Nations, Métis and Inuit families, as well as develop ways to participate in reconciliation.

In addition, students and staff can engage in the learning opportunities throughout Truth and Reconciliation Week.

At the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, there are a number of activities planned to mark this day of acknowledgement and reflection.

On September 30, the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, the board will recognize the harm that Canada’s residential school system inflicted on Indigenous children and their families, and the ongoing trauma that remains today.

According to a board spokesperson, the DPCDSB was the first to support Orange Shirt Day and was the first board in Ontario to lower their flags in honour, last year on Sept. 30.

“As we strive to be responsible treaty partners, we continue to work with the community to ensure that all learners are aware and informed regarding the ongoing impact of colonization, including Indian Residential Schools,” said the spokesperson in a news release.
“As a system, Orange Shirt Day will be recognized through social media, as well as the lowering of flags at all our schools and board facilities.”

In addition to individual schools and sites that are recognizing Orange Shirt Day, the following opportunities will be offered to educators throughout September:

  • Resources have been created to support the teaching and learning of residential schools and Orange Shirt Day;
  • The Whole Truth About Residential Schools: Then and Now Webinar Series, a four-part series that focuses on learning and teaching the true history of the Residential School System in Canada;
  • Grade-specific livestream in-class virtual presentations with Indigenous partners;
  • Grade-specific afterschool webinars for educators.
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