Have you purchased your orange t-shirt?
Don’t forget to wear orange on September 30th. EVERY CHILD MATTERS!
Orange Shirt Day t-shirts are available through Victoria Orange Shirt Day.
Graphics by Bear Horne.
The design features the bear to help us follow the right path, the eagle to help us have vision of a bright future, the hummingbird to keep our mind, body and spirit healthy, and the flower to feed the connection of all of these elements.
Each year, on September 30th, many people across Canada wear orange shirts to honour and remember the sacrifices of residential school survivors and their families. The message behind Orange Shirt Day is that every child matters. It is a movement that originated from the experiences of residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad.
Residential schools were in existence from 1831 until 1996. They were government funded, and church run schools established to forcibly assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian society. The goal of these schools was to break the children’s ties to their language, traditions and families. Many children experienced the worst neglect and abuse imaginable at the hands of their teachers and people responsible for running the schools. Several thousand children died while under the care of the government.
Residential schools had a severe and lasting impact on First Nations in Canada. The schools have contributed to intergenerational trauma and in many cases, family breakdown. In addition, knowledge about many traditional ways of healing, parenting, languages and social relations has been lost.
Today, residential school survivors and their families are reconnecting to their cultural roots, and reviving traditions that were once lost. This marks the beginning of the path to reconciliation.