September 30th is Orange Shirt Day. Here is an excerpt from www.cbc.ca website about how one child's experience inspired a movement:
Orange Shirt Day was inspired by Phyllis Jack Webstad, a Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation elder in Williams Lake, B.C., and by her first day at residential school in 1973, when she was six.
"We never had very much money, and there was no welfare, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to the Mission school," Webstad recalls in a post on the Orange Shirt Day website.
"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!"
But her first day at school was not what Webstad expected.
"When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt! I never saw it again. I didn't understand why they wouldn't give it back to me, it was mine!"
And ever since then, the colour orange has held a special meaning to her.
"The colour 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," she wrote. "All of us little children were crying and no one cared."
After Webstad first told her story, Orange Shirt Day was launched in 2013 in Williams Lake, BC to commemorate all of the residential school survivors.
Our staff recognize the importance of Orange Shirt Day and plan to take part in the T-shirt campaign.