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Orange shirts mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in SD8

School District No. 8 turned orange this week because students and staff marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led movement to honor residential school Survivors and their families and communities across Canada on Friday..

“There is such awesome participation in Orange Shirt Day events in schools across our district to honor our Indigenous families, communities, ancestors and their experiences,” says district principal of aboriginal education Gail Higginbottom. “It is a celebration and honoring of Indigenous peoples who are such a source of inspiration, creativity and life force for all children and adults. 

“This year marks one of the highest levels of participation in Orange Shirt Day among our students and staff to honor the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and the resiliency of Indigenous people and communities,” says superintendent Trish Smillie.

“Reconciliation is about changing our thinking, decision making, systems and structures, and creating a new way of being and working together. It is the good work we will all do together.”

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That good work included an Orange Shirt Day march by Adam Robertson Elementary students from their school to Creston town hall today. 

School assemblies and classroom activities with videos, artwork and other information focused on Aboriginal culture, art and history happened at Erickson Elementary, Canyon-Lister Elementary and Kootenay River Secondary. 

Crawford Bay Elementary held a Celebration of Aboriginal culture with Liam Fitzpatrick from the Circle of Indigenous Nations.

We hold and participate in these events every year to drive home the most important point of Orange Shirt Day – that every child matters,” said superintendent Smillie.

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