Here is the background to the Orange Shirt:
Not a fan of the commercialization of Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it can be cringy if done wrong. But man did they ever get this right. Incredibly powerful and legitimate in my opinion. Give it a watch, decide for yourself. https://t.co/kJclNK2IKi— Conrad Desjarlais (@DesConrad) September 29, 2022
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake in the spring of 2013.It grew out of Phyllis’s account of losing her shiny new orange shirt on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.I went to the Mission for one school year in 1973/1974.I had just turned 6 years old. I lived with my grandmother on the Dog Creek reserve. We never had very much money, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to the Mission school.I remember going to Robinson’s store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had string laced up in front, and was so bright and exciting – just like I felt to be going to school!When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt! I never wore 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.I was 13 years old and in grade 8 when my son Jeremy was born. Because my grandmother and mother both attended residential school for 10 years each, I never knew what a parent was supposed to be like.With the help of my aunt, Agness Jack, I was able to raise my son and have him know me as his mother.I went to a treatment centre for healing when I was 27 and have been on this healing journey since then.I finally get it, that the feeling of worthlessness and insignificance, ingrained in me from my first day at the mission, affected the way I lived my life for many years.Even now, when I know nothing could be further than the truth, I still sometimes feel that I don’t matter. Even with all the work I’ve done!I am honored to be able to tell my story so that others may benefit and understand, and maybe other survivors will feel comfortable enough to share their stories.Today... Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and Irish/French heritage, was born in Dog Creek, and lives in Williams Lake, BC.Today, Phyllis is married, has one son, a stepson and five grandchildren. She is the Founder and Ambassador of the Orange Shirt Society, and tours the country telling her story and raising awareness about the impacts of the residential school system.
As the day approaches where everyone talks of these places of horror, some of us sit in our memories like it was yesterday. It lives inside of us, the pain associated with the residential schools, the 60's Scoop, the deaths, poverty and addiction that was the gift brought to us💔 https://t.co/fTKGPCnjNu— Debbie ᑳᑫᓯᒧᑐᑕᐁ (@ironbow) September 28, 2022
This is a tough week every year; maybe one year it won't feel so heavy; but in the meantime, keep being YOU, and keep shining as you were meant to shine 🧡 #trc2022 #ResidentialSchoolSurvivor #youmatter2022 #YouAreLoved pic.twitter.com/cZk3LJI7CJ— Lou-ann Neel (@LouannNeel1) September 29, 2022
Thousands of people are expected to gather in Ottawa on Friday for the first-ever commemorative event marking the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. pic.twitter.com/zUSJohQVSB— APTN News (@APTNNews) September 30, 2022
There are many events taking place in all corners of the province tomorrow for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/Orange Shirt Day. We encourage you to part - listen, learn, show up, and share. A full listing at https://t.co/Gp8Wa5Y8VJ #ReconciliationSK pic.twitter.com/PlMRTwVunA— Treaty Commissioner (@TreatyOfficeSK) September 29, 2022