Please support us as we celebrate Orange Shirt Day on Monday!
September 29th, 2018
Orange Shirt Day is observed each September 30 to honour residential school survivors, those who did not survive, and their descendants. The origin of Orange Shirt Day is based on Phyllis Webstad’s story of entering an Indian Residential School in 1973 and having her new orange shirt removed from her and replaced with a school uniform. Her experience of having her orange shirt being taken from her is symbolic of all that was taken from Indigenous peoples as a result of Indian Residential Schools and is the reason we wear orange on September 30.
For well over a century, Indian Residential Schools were used as a tool to assimilate Indigenous peoples into the dominant Canadian culture; this has been labelled ‘cultural genocide.’ Established in 1892 by the Canadian government, in partnership with churches, Indigenous children were often moved long distances from their families and lived at the schools. Once at school, Indigenous children were forbidden to speak their languages or practice their cultures and traditions. Living conditions for students in Indian Residential Schools were often harsh and there was often significant emotional, physical and sexual abuse of the students.