Orange Shirt Day

September 2, 2020

Tomorrow, September 30th, is Orange Shirt Day.

This is a day dedicated to honouring the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada. Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis Webstad of Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek), which is located approximately 1.5 hours south west from Williams Lake, BC.

Phyllis, a survivor of residential schools, started this initiative to pass along the message that every child matters - no matter their background. Orange shirt day is meant to fight racism and bullying, and to raise awareness of the horrors of residential schools and colonialism.

To hear directly from Phyllis on what prompted 'Orange Shirt Day', what exactly she hopes this tradition will lead to, and why 'Orange Shirt Day' is a necessary step in reconciliation, please watch this moving video she has made:

So tomorrow, September 30th, make sure you put on your orange shirts and raise awareness of this important day!

This day is particularly important to honour given the recent tragic events that occured to Joyce Echaquan. This reminds us that Indigenous human rights continue to not be fulfilled, and that we must not only continue but also grow Indigenous movements such as Orange Shirt Day.

Cover photo Credits: Szekers, Jonathan. 'Phyllis Webstad and the story behind Orange Shirt Day'. City News 1130.