Today is Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day is on September 30th, as it is the same time of year when children were taken from their homes and communities to residential schools.
Orange Shirt day is inspired by Phyllis Webstad.
Here is Phyllis’ story: “We never had very much money, 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 wore it again. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me, it was mine! The color 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.”
At Threshold, we work to end youth homelessness and we know there is an over representation of Indigenous people experiencing homelessness, which can be directly linked to the over representation of Indigenous youth in government care. This is an outcome resulting from the ongoing legacy of colonialism. Today our team wears orange to recognize the residential school experience and the intergenerational impact left behind, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Because #EveryChildMatters
To learn more, please go to https://www.orangeshirtday.org/phyllis-story.html.