Algonquin Elder Danka Brewer leads students in an Indigenous drumming session at Pakenham Public School.

Staff and students across the Upper Canada District School Board observed Orange Shirt Day on Friday, raising awareness about the harm caused to Indigenous peoples by the Residential School System.

Staff and students honoured victims and survivors of the system by wearing orange shirts. Board schools also featured presentations by Indigenous speakers, and organized class presentations and drumming workshops with an Algonquin elder.

Superintendent Jodie Barrett said the day was a way the Board could honour the spirit of the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“I’m so proud of our staff and students for wearing orange,” said Jodie. “It’s another way we can help redress the tragic legacy of Canada’s Residential School System and move toward reconciliation and healing.

“The day helps our staff and students gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the system on our Indigenous partners, and will make certain future generations are aware of it, so we can learn from the mistakes of the past.”

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