September 30 is Orange Shirt Day – Bulletin Insert Available
Sunday, September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a day for communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well being, to hear stories of residential schools survivors and to imagine a better future.
Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s memory of her first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in British Columbia.
When six-year-old Phyllis excitedly arrived wearing a shiny orange shirt from her grandmother, the teachers took it away. Says Phyllis, “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.”
Phyllis went on to earn diplomas in Business Administration and Accounting. In 2017, she was awarded Thompson River University’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her unprecedented impact on local, provincial, national and international communities through the sharing of her orange shirt story.
Phyllis shares her story
Share with your congregation on September 23 to remind everyone to wear an orange shirt on Sunday, September 30.
- Learn about residential schools near you on the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s website.
- Listen to residential school survivors’ stories. Consider inviting a survivor to speak to your congregation.
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and use the Equipping for Leadership resource to help you consider ways you can respond.
- Visit orangeshirtday.org to learn more about this initiative and events near you.
- Learn more about the PCC’s Healing and Reconciliation program.
A Prayer for Orange Shirt Day
God of love,
We open our ears, hearts and minds to the stories of residential school survivors. We give thanks for the courage of survivors to tell hard truths. Help us to learn from our past as we commit to walking in new ways towards reconciliation.