Sept. 25, 2020Print | PDF
Orange Shirt Day, the nation-wide event that honours and commemorates the survivors of Canada’s residential school system and their families, will take place Sept. 30 and be celebrated online this year.
Members of the Wilfrid Laurier University community are invited to show their support for Orange Shirt Day by posting a picture of themselves wearing an orange shirt to social media and tagging it with the hashtags #EveryChildMatters, #OrangeShirtDay2020 and #LaurierIndigenous.
The Laurier community is also invited to participate in virtual Orange Shirt Day events held by the Woodland Cultural Centre Oct. 2 through 4. The events include a virtual tour of the Mohawk Institute Residential School, survivor testimonials and question and answer sessions. Visit the Woodland Culture Centre website for more information and to register.
“Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for everyone to take time to understand and reflect on the legacies and histories of the residential school experience,” says Melissa Ireland, director, Indigenous Initiatives at Laurier. “Even though many of us are working from home during this time, we can still wear our shirts and spend time commemorating the survivors of these unjust experiences.”
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 to wear on the first day of school, was taken from Webstad when she arrived at St. Joseph’s in 1973. She never saw the shirt again.
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