Today we wear orange for a different reason.
Canadians are wearing orange shirts to honour the children who suffered the residential schools experience.
A big thanks to Avril 7, Ava 10 and Kaydance 11 for making our ribbons.
This is how the Orange Shirt movement began. In the fall of 1973, six-year-old Phyllis Webstad’s grandmother took her to the local general store and bought her an orange shirt for her first day of school. She was proud of this beautiful new shirt and beamed as she wore it. When Phyllis arrived at Residential School near Williams Lake, B.C., the shirt was taken from her, and she had to wear the school uniform.
You would think young Phyllis would be told she could keep her shirt and wear it for special occasions. She wasn’t. The beautiful, precious shirt her grandmother gave her was never returned. Later, Phyllis saw other children at the school wearing it. She knew it was hers and said so, but no one listened. One can only imagine the confusion and sadness this child experienced. It’s said our greatest sufferings can bring about our greatest triumphs. Forty years later, Phyllis spearheaded the Orange Shirt Day movement to raise awareness about crimes committed against aboriginal children from 1831 to 1996 in the residential school system and to promote healing.