Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On behalf of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle, we would like to invite you and your community to take part in Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020.
Orange Shirt Day was started in 2013 as a community action for reconcilitation to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. The symbol of the orange shirt was chosen after residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad shared her experience of her first day at a residential school in British Colombia. When she arrived at the school wearing the orange shirt given to her by her grandmother, 6-year-old Phyllis was ordered to remove the shirt and to put on a uniform. Like many children who attended residential schools, this was the first of many experiences for Phyllis, where “her feelings never mattered,” hence the slogan “Every Child Matters.”
The date of September 30th was chosen to mark the time of year when First Nations children were taken away to attend residential schools.
By taking part in Orange Shirt Day, we honour those who survived the residential school system and bring forward an important reminder of TRC calls to action 1-5 on the welfare of First Nations children.
This is an important educational moment for all Canadians to learn about this tragic chapter in Canadian history and the impacts of residential schools on First Nations communities, which continue to this day. As part of your spiritual journey as a Catholic engaged in reconciliation, we invite you read various statements that have been made by our Church leaders over the years on the residential school system. You will find these statements on the OLGC website here.
You can also watch Phyllis Webstad tell her story in this short video.
For more information on activities and event related to Orange Shirt day: