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Jasper Place High School Grade 11 student, Farrah Ochiese’s design has been selected as the logo for the 2019 Orange Shirt Program! It 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.
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 stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.