(Toronto, ON, September 30, 2020) Today, the Chiefs of Ontario and Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald are encouraging participation in the 8th annual Orange Shirt Day to raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools and to honour the thousands of survivors.
“Orange Shirt Day sheds light on Canada’s dark history and is an opportunity for everyone to learn about Canada’s residential school system. It is also an opportunity to honour the resilience of the survivors and intergenerational survivors and pay tribute to those who didn’t make it home.
On September 30, we raise awareness by encouraging everyone to wear orange and take the time to learn more about our shared history through the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. Expand your knowledge of residential schools to create more discussions and participate in one of the many virtual celebrations taking place across our Nations. Use the day to read about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report and Calls to Action and reflect upon the systemic barriers that continue to impact First Nations peoples in our society.
Everyone has a role to play in building a more inclusive country. We ask that you wear orange and join us in raising awareness in our own efforts to build a more diverse and resilient country for us all. In the spirit of true reconciliation and healing, we must commit to a future where every child matters by continuing to work together to educate ourselves and eliminate discrimination of race in all forms.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
“Today and every day, let us honour the strength of Indian Residential School Survivors. Let us honour the resilience of our grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles who were amongst the hundreds of thousands of children displaced from their homes, families and communities. It is their strength and resiliency that continued to carry our Nations despite the deeply rooted traumas. Let us never forget this dark chapter in history, but move forward in healing as we owe it to our ancestors, ourselves and our future generations. Let us continue to remind Canada that every child victimized by the Residential School system mattered then just as our children matter today and every day.”
Ontario First Nations Young People’s Council
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion that took place in May 2013. Phyllis Webstad shared the story of when she had her new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, taken from her as a six-year old girl at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School. To learn more please visit: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario
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