On Wednesday, September 30th, the staff and students at Woodward will be
recognizing Orange Shirt Day. This is a part of the ongoing process of reconciliation
with Indigenous Peoples. Orange Shirt Day is held to honour the healing journey of the
survivors of residential schools and their families. From the 1880s until the last school
shut down in 1996, Canada's residential school system forced about 150,000 First
Nations, Inuit and Metis children to attend facilities that aimed to "take the Indian out of
Orange Shirt Day is the legacy of the 'St. Joseph Mission Residential School
Commemoration Project' in 2013. Phyllis Webstad was a former student at St. Joseph
Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, British Columbia. She shared her story of
her favourite new orange shirt which was taken from her on her first day of school when
she was six years old. Orange Shirt Day provides us with the opportunity to reaffirm that
all the residential school survivors matter, and so do those who have been affected -
"Every Child Matters."
We encourage everyone to wear an orange shirt (or their favourite shirt) on September
30th to honour Phylis Webstad and all the children who went to residential schools.
For more information, please visit www.orangeshirtday.org.