Students, staff honor victims of residential school trauma

Joining together in resilience


October 5, 2022

Marissa Conklin

SOMBER DANCE– La Conner eighth grader Ayona Cayou helped fellow Swinomish youth take steps toward healing cultural trauma during a school district Orange Shirt Day program dance at Whittaker Field Sept. 30. The campus event honored indigenous victims and survivors of residential school systems in the U.S. and Canada.

It wasn't yellow flags that dotted dry and brownish Whittaker Field Friday morning.

It was instead the orange shirts worn by La Conner students and staff that colored the school district's football field on Sept. 30 in honor of Native American youth who, over generations, suffered cultural trauma while attending residential campuses in the U.S. and Canada.

La Conner Schools is one of the first districts in western Washington to observe Orange Shirt Day, which in Canada is a national day of truth and reconciliation.

La Conner's school family assembled at Whittaker Field for an aerial photo,...

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