September is right around the corner and soon many families will be gearing up for back-to-school. Department stores everywhere will be buzzing with kids picking out new supplies and cool threads for the year. Hopefully, that includes something to wear for Orange Shirt Day.
On September 30th, Canadians wear orange in memory of indigenous children who didn’t experience a glimpse of that excitement. Instead, they felt intense trauma and fear at the hands of our government.
Between 1860 and 1996, approximately 150 thousand First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools. Isolated from their families and forced to assimilate to Canadian culture, these children suffered unimaginable terrors. In 2008, the government formally apologized for the cruel and ineffective approach towards unity.
Phyllis Webstad was one of those children. At the age of 6, her teachers stripped her of her brand new orange shirt upon arrival. Phyllis’s grandmother bought it for her specifically for the first day of school. Instead of giving it back, Phyllis remembers her teachers letting everyone but her wear the top. Since then, the colour orange held a special place in her heart. That’s why we wear it on Orange Shirt Day.
Today, we also wear orange as a commitment against racism and bullying. We welcome you to join us this year in the spirit of reconciliation and empowering the next generation. Let’s remember to honour the children who didn’t have the luxuries kids do today and encourage inclusion and acceptance in our communities, and ultimately our country.
Orange t-shirt designed by Ojibwe artist Patrick Hunter is now available to help grow awareness of impact of residential schools.
Mark World Indigenous Peoples’ Day Sunday by purchasing commissioned t-shirt with proceeds from sales to help Orange Shirt Society expand Indigenous education across Canada
Rogers Communications launched a fundraising campaign to support the Orange Shirt Society, which aims to educate Canadians on the history and impact of our country’s residential school system and advocate for action on reconciliation. Starting today, ahead of World Indigenous Peoples’ Day this Sunday, a special orange t-shirt designed by Ojibwe artist Patrick Hunter will be showcased across Rogers-owned media assets including TSC and available at tsc.ca/wewearorange, with proceeds from sales going to the organization’s ongoing efforts to expand Indigenous education across Canada.