“In the year 1973 at the age of six years old, Phyllis Webstad attended her first day of residential school wearing a bright orange shirt gifted by her grandmother. Excited to wear something so bright, she was full of hope and excitement to attend school. However, when she arrived they stripped her shirt away from her. This caused her to associate this experience and the colour orange with the feelings of loss, hopelessness and insignificance. Not only was the gift from her grandmother taken away, which was a physical, tangible piece of clothing, but her family, freedoms and culture were also severed that day.
Instead of letting this remain just as a painful reminder of her past, Phyllis became inspired launched the first Orange Shirt Day in 2013 in order to bring awareness to the children that experienced the same situation as she had and bring light to the children that never got to make it home.
This Wednesday, September 30th participate in raising awareness and reconciliation through education. Wear an orange shirt in show of support, spread awareness through social media or become an ally. Show that all children matter and help call attention to 165 years’ worth of residential school experiences.
For more information about Orange Shirt Day, visit https://www.orangeshirtday.org/ “