Honour residential school survivors on Orange Shirt Day

People wearing orange shirts

30 September 2020

Orange Shirt Day is an important date dedicated to reconciliation and hope for Indigenous peoples, including survivors of the residential school experience in Canada.

Recognized annually, Orange Shirt Day is a legacy from the St. Joseph Mission Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion that took place in Williams Lake, BC in May 2013. As spokesperson for the reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother was taken from her as a six-year old girl.

We commemorate Orange Shirt Day because it was at this time children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is a chance to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is also an opportunity for Indigenous peoples, local governments, schools, and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

For more information please visit the Orange Shirt Society website.

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