In an attempt to raise awareness about all aspects of residential schools, Clearview participated in a shared initiative with the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) in the orange shirt campaign “Every Child Matters” on Friday, Sept. 30.
The day is looked upon as an opportunity for teachers, students, parents, and other community members to don an orange shirt and open up a discussion on all aspects of residential schools.
According to a media release, Clearview Public Schools has made honouring First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) students and culture part of their strategic priorities this year, including most recently with the Board of Trustees approving Policy 105 “Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Environments.”
Under the new policy FNMI students, with all other students in the communities, belong and need to feel safe in Clearview Public Schools.
“Clearview Public Schools’ staff, students, and central services are wearing orange t-shirts today to recognize the history of the Canadian Residential Schools System and the impact of the past government policy on First Nations,” said Director of Inclusive Learning Grant Gosse. “Clearview has over 150 students who have self-identified as FNMI, and we continue to help and support the success of our students.”
“Every Child Matters” remembers the experiences of former students of First Nation Residential Schools and is a commitment to the ongoing reconciliation in Canada. Originating in British Columbia, this is the third year the campaign will be running in B.C. and other parts of Canada, and the first coordinated effort to celebrate the campaign in Alberta.
At the SES assembly held on Friday, Sept. 30, Principal Sharon Fischer said, “Today is also National Aboriginal Day or Orange Shirt Day, and as you may have noticed all of our staff are wearing orange shirts today.”
Fischer explained, that the reason that the staff were wearing orange was in recognition that every child matters and to show respect for those First Nations people who were impacted by residential schools.
“This is the first year that we are celebrating this day, but I am confident that in the upcoming years this movement will spread,” Fischer added.