September 30, 2020
Today is Orange Shirt Day.
Today Indigenous and non-Indigenous people all over Canada come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation to honour former residential school students, their families, and communities.
CLEBC is committed to reconciliation. We can advance this work by listening, learning, and sharing on Orange Shirt Day.
The first residential schools were established in the early 1870s, and the last one closed in 1996. More than 150,000 Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit children attended these schools. There are an estimated 80,000 survivors living today.
This is the time of year when children were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools. The day inspires us to think about the impacts of the policies and actions of the Government of Canada and the churches that operated the schools and to take part in anti-racism and anti-bullying initiatives at school and work.
Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, BC in 2013 at the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event where survivor Phyllis Webstad told the story of how her shiny new orange shirt was taken away from her on her first day of school.
You can hear Phyllis Webstad speak at noon today: UVic will host a free online Orange Shirt Day event.
See the CLEBC blog post the blog post for more.