St. Albert public schools recognize residential school victims with Orange Shirt Day

Normally recognized on Sept. 30, Orange Shirt Day is Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

With recent events surrounding the 215 children whose remains were located near Kamloops Residential School last weekend, St. Albert Public schools decided to hold another day to recognize those who suffered.

“Part of it is to keep that conversation going,” Joseph M. Demko assistant principal Monique Waters told CTV.

“We want others to know that we want to remember what’s happened in our history and so our district as whole has decided that this is one small way that we can honour that trauma and honour those that continue to experience trauma from the history of the residential schools in Canada.”

Students at Joseph M. Demko school took part in activities like chalk art, planting an Indigenous Three Sisters Garden, and making peace poles that will be decorated with 215 hand prints.

“Even myself being older I didn’t learn a lot of this in school, it’s only been as an educator in the last few years that I’ve become far more educated about the history of our own country and so I think that is a starting point.”

Contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free 1 (800) 721-0066 or 24-hour Crisis Line 1 (866) 925-4419 if you require further emotional support or assistance.