Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan recognizes Orange Shirt Day today

If you see students going to school wearing orange this morning, there's a reason.

Sept. 30 is day students remember destructive legacy of Indian residentials schools

Dawn Shire's children were all ready for Orange Shirt Day on Friday. (Submitted by Dawn Shire)

If you see students going to school wearing orange this morning, there's a reason.

Sept. 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a day when students across Saskatchewan are recognizing the harm that residential schools did to Indigenous people.

It's the first year Saskatchewan school boards have officially recognized the event.

Throughout the 20th century, Indigenous children were taken out of their home communities and sent to Indian residential schools that had been set up across Canada.

Many Indigenous students lost their language and culture and thousands suffered physical, sexual and emotion abuse at the schools, which were run mainly by churches under the supervision of the federal government. 

The last of those schools was closed in 1996.

Saskatoon's Christine Sommerfeldt sent CBC this picture of her daughter Victoria Sommerfeldt on her way to high school on Friday. (Christine Sommerfeldt)

Shirt a symbol

The day remembers an incident, more than 40 years ago, when a little girl named Phyllis arrived at a residential school in B.C., proudly wearing an orange shirt that was promptly taken away.

Now, the shirt has become a symbol of all those children lost and what they still cope with today.

Orange Shirt Day caps off a series of lessons on residential schools in Saskatchewan.

Among the events taking place today is a neighbourhood walk by orange-shirted students of Sacred Heart Community School in Regina.

Post-secondary institutions are holding events, too.

Wearing your orange shirt today? Send us your photo!

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