Indigenous Education hosts Orange Shirt Day September 30

A message from Indigenous Education:

The NC community is invited  to participate in Orange Shirt Day on Friday, September 30.

Orange Shirt Day is an annual event to recognize the impact the residential school system had on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake in 2013. It was inspired by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad whose clothes, including her new orange shirt that her grandmother bought her for school, were stripped and taken away on her first day of school at St. Joseph Mission residential school.

“I never saw 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.”

September 30 was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools.The federal government estimates at least 150,000 First Nation, Metis, and Inuit students attended residential schools. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for the College to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children.

Niagara College students, staff, and faculty are invited to wear an orange shirt (or other clothing) to honour residential school survivors and to remember those who didn’t.

Schedule for Orange Shirt Day
• An information booth will be set up in the AHI Foyer from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. including resources on the residential school legacy and the impact it continues to have on Indigenous people in Canada. All are welcome to visit the booth.
• At 1:30 p.m., students, staff, and faculty are invited to the AHI Foyer for a group photo, wearing their orange shirts. The photo will be submitted to the Orange Shirt Day Society to show Niagara College’s support of the residential school legacy.
• Those who cannot attend the group photo but still wish to participate, may tweet @IndigenousEdNC a photo of  wearing an Orange Shirt with the hashtag #EveryChildMatters or #OrangeShirtDay. Photos will be used to create a collage to send to the Orange Shirt Day Society and for promotional purposes.

Contact
Those with questions may contact Indigenous student counsellor Jamie Warren at jawarren@niagaracollege.ca