Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Catholic Teachers Recognize Orange Shirt Day as We Call for Reconciliation


“Catholic teachers are committed to reconciliation.

On September 30, as we commemorate and recognize Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we encourage teachers, students, everyone to wear orange and acknowledge the devastation this country’s residential school system has inflicted on Indigenous communities.

We have watched in dismay this year as the tragic discovery at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation has been repeated across the country.

We cannot be idle. We must be allies. As teachers we have a responsibility to take action in our classrooms and communities to champion the message of Orange Shirt Day, that every child matters. And throughout the school year we must commit to the important and necessary discussions about the histories of Indigenous peoples and the enduring pain and trauma caused by Canada’s residential school system.

As an Association, we continue to call on the Vatican to issue a formal apology for its role in residential schools, and we are supporting Indigenous organizations in their work towards truth and reconciliation. We also call on the Federal government to immediately implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the provincial government to reinstate vital resources around Indigenous education.

To honour the survivors and victims of residential schools, we must have meaningful reconciliation with real, immediate, and dedicated action.”

- Barb Dobrowolski, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association