Sept. 24, 2019Print | PDF
Every child matters.
It’s a message that Wilfrid Laurier University’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives invites you to support through Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30, an annual event that honours and commemorates the survivors of Canada’s residential school system and their families.
Laurier community members can purchase orange t-shirts bearing the message Every Child Matters at the Laurier Bookstore and the Stedman Community Bookstore for $12.95 plus tax. Twenty per cent of proceeds will be donated to the Orange Shirt Society, a non-profit organization that supports survivors and their families.
“Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Canada to engage in the truth aspect of truth and reconciliation,” says Jean Becker, senior advisor: Indigenous initiatives at Laurier. “It is a day to talk, to remember residential schools, and to remember that truly every child matters.”
The first Orange Shirt Day was held in 2013 at the former St. Joseph Residential Indian School near Williams Lake, B.C., where residential school survivor Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told the story of her orange t-shirt. The shirt, a special gift from her grandmother for Webstad to wear on the first day of school, was taken from her when she arrived at St. Joseph’s in 1973. She never saw the shirt again.
Webstad recalls the incident in a video message on the Orange Shirt Day website.
“No matter how much each of us little kids cried, it didn’t matter. No one listened to us. Our feelings didn’t matter. We didn’t matter,” said Webstad. “Today is a day to honour residential school survivors and their families. Every child matters, even if you’re an adult.”
For more information about Orange Shirt Day at Laurier, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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