Edmonton, AB – The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities (Safe and Caring) is pleased to announce the winner of their annual Orange Shirt Program Logo Design Competition.
Jasper Place High School Grade 11 student, Farrah Ochiese’s design has been selected as the logo for the 2019 Orange Shirt Program and will be featured on the front of the official Alberta Orange Shirt, worn to honour Residential School Survivors and to promote ongoing Reconciliation.
Ochiese entered the contest after learning about it from one of her teachers. Ochiese, whose family originates from Driftpile First Nation in Treaty 8 territory, describes her artwork as “a mother trying to keep her children safe, under her wing, within her.” “It’s scary losing a child in a mother’s vision, something you grew to love and raise.” Ochiese wants all Albertans to know that “all children are precious – they’re our next generation.”
Ochiese’s design was shortlisted from 815 submissions by a panel of judges that included Residential School Survivors, Intergenerational Survivors, Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), Indigenous organizations, community and business leaders, and Safe and Caring board members. It was then selected through a process of community engagement at Edmonton’s Indigenous Peoples Festival and online voting through the month of July.
“So many fantastic submissions for this year’s logo contest from across the Province. We are seeing such an increase in the participation levels in the Orange Shirt Program which is just one of the ways to keep the conversation going throughout the year and grow our understanding, recognize the harms done to Residential School students and to demonstrate commitment to participate in the work of Reconciliation,” said Leslie Ronaldson, Executive Director at Safe and Caring. “Safe and Caring Schools & Communities is proud to deliver the Orange Shirt Program in Alberta.”
Alberta’s Orange Shirt Program will run throughout the month of September and early October, culminating in Orange Shirt Program events in Edmonton, on September 27, and in Calgary, on Thursday, October 3 this year. Albertans are invited to order their orange shirts featuring Ochiese’s design through the Safe and Caring’s website: safeandcaring.ca/orangeshirtprogram/orange-shirt-program-t-shirts/
About Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day honors the legacy of Residential Schools, Survivors, Intergenerational Survivors and those that did not survive as an act of Reconciliation.
Orange Shirt Day honors the legacy of the 2013 St. Joseph Mission Residential School commemoration event, held in Williams Lake, B.C. It grew out of former student, Phyllis Webstad’s account of having her brand-new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission.
The Orange Shirt is meant to recognize the harm done to Residential School students and show a commitment that Every Child Matters. A date in September was chosen because it is the time of year when children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and is an opportunity to set the stagefor anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.
Orange Shirt Day is 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.
About Safe and Caring
The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities builds school and community capacity and awareness school environments through the use of needs assessments, programs to promote healthy relationships for all.