This year, Orange Shirt Day falls on a Saturday. To mark this important day in our classrooms, and to help recognize the harm caused by the residential school system, we’re asking members to wear orange on Friday, September 29, 2017.
Let’s champion the message of this day of collective reconciliation, that ‘Every Child Matters,’ and show our support by wearing orange and taking part in school-based commemorative activities.
What is Orange Shirt Day
In 1973, six-year old Phyllis Webstad was gifted a brand new orange shirt from her grandmother and wore it to the residential (mission) school she attended in British Columbia. Upon her arrival, school officials removed and discarded the shirt from her and replaced it with a school uniform. This greatly impacted the mental and emotional well-being of Webstad and symbolized that “her feelings never mattered.”
September 30 was chosen as the date to commemorate all the children that attended residential schools as it was also the time of year that children had to leave their homes and communities to attend the schools.
This annual campaign began in 2013 after Webstad shared this experience at a reunion with other survivors.