Indigenous Education would like to invite all Niagara College students, faculty, and staff to participate in Orange Shirt Day on Friday, September 30 by wearing an orange shirt (or other clothing) to honour residential school survivors and to remember those who didn’t.
Orange Shirt Day is an annual event to recognize the impact that 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 grew out of the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a residential school survivor. When Phyllis arrived for her first day of school at the Mission her clothes were stripped and taken away, including her new orange shirt that her grandmother bought her for school. 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, Métis, 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.
Here is the events schedule for Orange Shirt Day:
- An information booth will be set up 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.
- If you cannot attend the group photo but still wish to participate, tweet @IndigenousEdNC a photo of yourself wearing an Orange Shirt with the hashtag #EveryChildMatters or #OrangeShirtDay. We will use your photo to create a collage to send to the Orange Shirt Day Society and for promotional purposes.