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Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day
Posted on 09/25/2018

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Orange Shirt Day is a day to remember what happened to First Nations students at residential schools across Canada. Orange Shirt Day was inspired by Phyllis Jack Webstad, a Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation elder in Williams Lake, B.C., and by her first day at residential school in 1973, when she was six.

"We never had very much money, and there was no welfare, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to the Mission school. I remember going to Robinson's store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had string laced up in front, and was so bright and exciting — just like I felt to be going to school! When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt!  I never saw it again.  I didn't understand why they wouldn't give it back to me, it was mine! The colour orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn't matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared."  Phyllis Webstad

The event was launched in 2013 to commemorate all of the residential school survivors. The motto of the event is “Every Child Matters.”