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Froid Students Take Part In Orange Shirt Day Activity

To honor and remember those children who attended Indian Residential Boarding Schools, Froid art students participated in a weeklong art unit that included videos and interactive activities focusing on the history of Indian reservations as well as residential schools and the mistreatment of children who attended them.

Sept. 30 is a day for truth and reconciliation. Known as Orange Shirt Day, it is a day of remembrance for victims of the Indian residential and boarding school systems.

Under the tutelage of art teacher Maria Gallegos, a former attendant of a U.S. Indian boarding school, Froid High School students created orange remembrance bracelets to wear on Sept. 30.

“It is so vital for students to know this part of our history that has largely been ignored,” Gallegos said. “My siblings and I attended an Indian boarding school and our experiences were traumatic and painful. It is not something we wanted to discuss or share with others. It is a healing to know that the painful truth about the mistreatment of Indigenous children and families is being acknowledged.”

Although Orange Shirt Day originated in Canada, starting in 2013, the United States also participates. In honor of this day, many people opt to wear an orange shirt.

Orange Shirt Day marks the time of year in which indigenous children were taken from their families and communities and sent away to boarding schools, often a great distance from their homes. This day provides the opportunity to reflect on the dark part of our history, to consider the ongoing effects of racism and colonialism for indigenous peoples and to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and truth.

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