What is Orange Shirt Day?
Orange Shirt Day is born out of the legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC in 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission and has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools alive annually.
This day is a time to remember the residential school experience and to honour the healing journey of survivors and their families. Sept. 30 is a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter - Every Child Matters, even the spirit of that child if they are an adult now.
To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, watch the Orange Shirt Day video.
Orange Shirt Day – Every Child Matters
The Township of Ryerson is committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Calls to Action and in the spirit of reconciliation, the Township joins others across the country to honour the Indigenous children sent away to residential schools in Canada by recognizing Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters annually on Sept. 30.
Sept. 30 has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm that the residential school system caused to Indigenous children's and as an expression of our commitment to reaffirm that every child matters.
This date was chosen because it is the time of year when Indigenous children were taken from their homes to residential schools, which harmed their identity and well-being. Orange Shirt Day provides an opportunity to express our commitment to reaffirm that every child matters.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
As of June 3, 2021, a new federal statutory holiday received Royal Assent after it was passed unanimously in the Senate. The first statutory holiday of The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation was recognized on Sept. 30, 2021, and coincides with Orange Shirt Day. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will continue to be held on Sept. 30, of each year.
The establishment of the national holiday is in response to the 80th call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. Reconciliation requires active participation from everyone. The day provides an opportunity to not only observe and commemorate the tragic legacy of the residential schools, but also quiet time to reflect or actively participate in a community activity or event.
The Burk's Falls, Armour, Ryerson Public Library
The library will be celebrating First Nations Public Library Week from Oct 3rd-7th. The library will also have an Indigenous Reads Book Draw happening all week long for a chance to win "Borders" by Thomas King (Youth) and "Five Little Indians" by Michelle Good (Adults). They will be drawing the winner the next week. Culture Days also has a ton of resources and virtual events and workshops happening as well:
The National Film Board of Canada is also providing numerous films for all ages, directed/written by Indigenous filmmakers and screenwriters about Indigenous history and more. Here is their link: