Grades 4-7 Resources » Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day

 

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Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013.  It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. ​​​​​​​


The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.  It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.

Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

 

Orange Shirt Day (click on the link to see Phyllis' website for more of her story, videos, resources etc.)​

Lesson Ideas
 
 
Lesson Plans from Building Bridges by Building Understanding Through Current Events (some French ones in here too)
 
Orange Shirt Template: 

Orange Shirt Template
Orange Shirt Day Activites 2018 in School District 71
 
 
Print Resources
 
Phyllis' Orange Shirt
Phyllis's Orange Shirt by Phyllis Webstad
When Phyllis Webstad (nee Jack) turned six, she went to the residential school for the first time. On her first day at school, she wore a shiny orange shirt that her Granny had bought for her, but when she got to the school, it was taken away from her and never returned. This is the true story of Phyllis and her orange shirt. It is also the story of Orange Shirt Day (an important day of remembrance for First Nations and non First Nations Canadians). Recommended for ages 4-6.
 
The Orange Shirt StoryThe Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad
When Phyllis Webstad (nee Jack) turned six, she was sent to a residential school for the first time. On her first day at school, she proudly wore a shiny orange shirt that her Granny had bought for her. When she arrived at school she was told that she could not wear her favourite shirt. It was taken away from her, never to be returned. The Orange Shirt Story tells the true story of Phyllis and her orange shirt and of Orange Shirt Day (an important day of remembrance for First Nations and non First Nation Canadians).​
 
I was born precious and sacred
I was Born Precious and Sacred by Author: Debra Abood
This book takes simple pictures and words and uses them to illustrate and clarify some complicated issues: belonging within families and cultures, respect for both children and elders in the values they can teach us, and safety for one of our society's most vulnerable and most resilient group of people: children. Debora Abood draws on years of experience working with urban Aboriginal people, as well as victims of trauma, to create an atmosphere of non-judgemental invitation to examine how ancient traditional teachings can point people from all cultures towards healthy recognition of human sanctity. I've seen this book used in schools, public libraries, early learning centres, medical facilities, cultural programs, and independent learning courses. Most importantly, though, my two-year-old loves the pictures and has memorized the refrain of "and this I need to know" that echoes through the book. I certainly hope that he grows up with the sensibilities that this book promotes: care and respect for others and for other ways of knowing. 
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself.  It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc  Nations along with the Cariboo Regional District, the Mayors and municipalities, School Districts and civic organizations in the Cariboo Region.   There are also Lesson Plans available for teachers. 
 
 
More Information and Resources:
 
 
Residential School​ (click on link to see more resources on SD #71 Indigenous Education website)
Reconciliation: A Journey for All Canadians (click on link to see some ideas from SD #71 for Reconciliation in the classroom)
French Resources:
 
Phyllis' story  Phyllis' story French 
Lesson Plans from Building Bridges by Building Understanding Through Current Events