Orange Shirt Day

Ha7lh skwayel MQE Community,

Today the school dressed in orange, to recognize and honour our Residential School Survivors, and act in a manner that promotes remembrance of this dark history of our past.  Across Canada we will be starting the work towards building reconciliation. Residential schools are a part of our Canadian history that requires a humanistic understanding that runs deeper than seeing it as a fact on a time line, or a bump in our past.  It requires us to develop a level of understanding that will enable us to see this act for what it was, so that we can start to move forward with understanding equality and social justice.  It is about honouring the voices and stories of the past.

“Reconciliation will be about ensuring everything we do today will be aimed at a high standard to restore the balance of the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples”.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake in 2013. It grew out of one survivor’s account of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools. It is also an opportunity to set the stage for the coming school year as we look to implement new curriculum material about residential schools and reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

Residential School Story

 Every child matters, and every voice needs to be heard.


Chen kw’enmantúmi, 


Jeff Maynard / ts̓qáxa7 sp̓áq̓em

Principal / Mamquam Elementary School

School District No. 48 (Sea to Sky) |

[email protected] | Cell: (604) 698-8003


We are honoured to be learning on the Traditional Territory of the Sḵwxwú7meshÚxwumixw and St’át’yemc Nations


* ts̓qáxa7 sp̓áq̓em is a Lil’wat name given to me by Tanina Williams.  It is a new Ucwalmícwts

word that translates into horse flower (dandelion).  While these plants are not native to these lands, they are strong, can grow anywhere and have become a resource for the Lil’wat people.