What is Orange shirt day?
Orange shirt day is a day devised to educate people and promote awareness about the Residential School System and the impact this system had on Indigenous communities for more than a century in Canada as well as the continued impact of this system within Indigenous communities. Orange Shirt Day is held on September 30 in Canada with students and staff being encouraged to wear an orange shirt to school that day.
Why is September 30th orange shirt day?
September 30th falls during the time of year when Indigenous children were taken away from their homes and put into residential schools.
Why an orange shirt?
The “orange shirt” in Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad was given to her by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Webstad got to the residential school, she was stripped of her clothes, including her orange shirt and it was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at the residential school.
What does Orange Shirt day represent?
The message that Phyllis Webstad wants to convey and pass along on Orange Shirt Day (and every day) is that every child matters. Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis to educate people about residential schools and fight racism as well as bullying.