Time to rummage through our drawers and closets, September 30th is Orange Shirt Day!
So, what is this day about?
September 30th is a day to remember and honour the survivors (and those who did not survive) of the Indian Residential School System. It is also a day for survivors to share their stories and for Canadians to show their commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous nations by wearing an orange shirt.
Why an orange shirt?
Orange shirt day originates from the story of a residential school survivor named Phyllis Webstad. When she was 6 years old she was sent to St. Joseph Indian Residential School. On her first day she was excited to be wearing the new shiny orange shirt that her grandmother had given to her. Unlike the warm welcoming embrace children today get on their first day of school from teachers, 6 year old Phyllis was told she couldn’t wear her shirt and was stripped. She never saw the shirt again.
Can you imagine what that experience must have been like for a little child? This story is just one of thousands of stories about former residential school students.
How I will commemorate this day?
Saturday will be my first time participating in orange shirt day. Along with wearing the gear, I will be posting on my social media outlets content related to residential schools (i.e. videos, books, articles, and pictures that I’ve come across in my own research). I also will be participating in a community walk with the children and staff I work with.
Project of Heart
If you are interested in learning more about the Indian Residential School System a good place to start is to participate in The Project of Heart. Click the link below for more details:
Thank you for reading!
Your comments are always welcome,