Shirts designed by Porter Creek high school students help mark reconciliation day – Yukon News


“Every child counts”

These are the words on the front and center of two t-shirts designed by Tlingit students in the Fashion Art Design School (FADS) program at Porter Creek High School.

The grade 10 class taught by Kyla Greve produced and sold the t-shirts to mark Orange Shirt Day on September 30. The day has been observed for years as a time to reflect on the damage caused by residential schools, but this year it was officially designated National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts enabled the class to send a donation of $ 650 to the Abuse Committee in the Residential School Society.

Reconciliation and the effects of the residential school system were in the public eye following the discovery of 215 graves at a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The Orange Shirt Day t-shirt designed by Kayodi Dickson-Camilleri, a student in the Porter Creek High School FADS program. (Jim Elliot / Yukon News)

The students responsible for the designs on the shirts say they will be proud to have their designs worn by their classmates and teachers on September 30.

Kayoni Dickson-Camilleri’s design shows a black handprint with a smaller one, depicting a lighter colored young child’s hand in the palm. The text “Every Child Matters” is wrapped around the outside of the hand.

“Basically my design represents the biggest hand being for those who grew up from boarding school or been through it all. The smaller one is for the kids we recently found out we lost, ”she said.

“I was just hoping my design would help open up people’s perspective and eyes to certain things.”

Peter Johns wrote the other design that will be seen on t-shirts around Porter Creek Secondary. Johns’ shirts depict a crying sun overlooking hills and a grave with an ashtray inside. With “Every Child Matters” in large print, Johns’ drawing bears the words “How much more?” He said this has become a big issue as the total number of graves at residential school sites has grown from 215 found in Kamloops to over 1,000 located at other former residential school sites.

The Orange Shirt Day t-shirt designed by Peter Johns of the Porter Creek FADS high school program. (Jim Elliot / Yukon News)

“This ashtray only shows the ashes of the children and the killer whale and the eagle represent the children who go into the afterlife.”

He said the killer whale and the eagle are important symbols for the Tlingit Dakl’awedi clan to which he belongs.

“I hope my design will send the message that we cannot forget these children and that all children’s lives matter,” Johns said.

The project was a chance for Dickson-Camilleri and Johns to put their artistic talents at the service of a good cause. Johns said he came from a family of artists and writes music, draws and sketches outside of school hours. Dickson-Camilleri said she had loved art for a long time and wanted to work in fashion. After hearing about the FADS course from a friend, she said she was excited to join it.

Students in the Fashion Art Design School program at Porter Creek High School produced orange t-shirts designed by Kayodi Dickson-Camilleri and Peter Johns (standing, third and fourth from left). (Jim Elliot / Yukon News)

Greve said it was important to allow Tlingit students to lead the designs, but the rest of the class helped with the project. They learned valuable skills by dyeing white t-shirts a bright orange hue and then screen printing the designs on the front.

“For the end of the year, they are offering a collection, like a fashion show. So now they have the skills to make their own shirt designs and be able to sell them. “

She said the shirts were the result of a two-week project for the class. The 57 shirts the class dyed, printed and sold were donated to the FADS program, ensuring that all proceeds could go directly to the Residential School Violence Committee.

All 57 shirts sold out quickly, primarily to the families of the students and staff at Porter Creek High School.

Greve said this was the first time the FADS program has included an Orange Jersey Day project, but based on its success this year, she believes it will make a comeback in the future.

“We have a lot of support. And especially if we open it more publicly, I think we could make it a pretty big fundraiser for the Yukon.

Contact Jim Elliot at [email protected]

Truth and reconciliation


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