Today has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters. Every Child Matters.
We watched this video a few times. As a class we talked about how sad it must have been for Phyllis to leave home and have things that were important to her taken away.
We talked about how it is important to remember sad things that happen in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and The World – so that we can remember them and ensure that they Never. Ever. Happen. Again.
Room 129 students really identified with how hard it would have been to go to a Residential School where the students were so unhappy and didn’t like learning. We all agreed that learning and school SHOULD be fun for everyone.
We read a book called When I was Eight – by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton.
And another book called Amik Loves School – by Katherena Vermette.
Amik tells Moshoom about his wonderful school. Then his grandfather tells him about the residential school he went to, so different from Amik’s school. So Amik has an idea to have Moshoom come to his school and see what a great place it was. The story ends with Moshoom sitting with Amik and his class in a circle and smudged to welcome a new day.
It is important to have these conversations with children. It is important that they know, that no matter what you believe, no matter where you come from, no matter who you are. YOU MATTER!! Every Child Matters, even if you are an adult. Today is a day we listen to stories with an open heart. We learn about the past and move forward to a stronger more caring and understanding future.
Check out #orangeshirtday online for some inspirational tweets.
Look at these students who LOVE school!