On September 30, Canadians wear orange shirts in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children's sense of self-esteem and well being, and to promote reconciliation.
In 2013, Phyllis Webstad started Orange Shirt Day out of her own experience in a residential school. At six years of age, Phyllis was sent to the Mission for one school year. Although money was scarce, her granny was able to buy Phyllis a new school outfit including a shiny orange shirt. When she arrived at the Mission school, Phyllis was stripped and her clothes - including her beloved orange shirt - were taken away from her. Phyllis and the other children at the residential school were treated terribly. and from that experience, she started Orange Shirt Day to promote the concept that "Every Child Matters."
This September 30, wear an orange shirt in honor of those who experienced the residential school system, and to affirm your commitment to inclusivity, healing, and caring for all children.
More resources to help understand the residential school system and promote reconciliation include:
- Orange Shirt Day organization
- LRSD Residential Schools YouTube video playlist
- Book for Orange Shirt Day by Canadian authors
For more information about what LRSD is doing to promote reconciliation in our schools, visit our FNMI page.