Orange Shirt Day

On Friday, September 30, the Henry Grube Education Centre and the School Board Office participated in Orange Shirt Day.  Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake in May 2013.  The project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself and brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhquot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc Nations.  The idea of Orange Shirt Day was inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad. In 1973, 6 year old Phyllis entered St. Joseph Mission residential school near Williams Lake, BC, proudly wearing a brand new orange shirt given by her grandmother on her first day of school. But the school stripped her orange shirt and replaced it with an institutional uniform, leaving Phyllis feeling worthless and insignificant. The impact of this event haunted her throughout her life.

Resolutions have been passed in support of Orange Shirt Day by local governments, school districts, and First Nations in the Cariboo and beyond. Most recently the AFN Chiefs-in-Council passed a resolution declaring Orange Shirt Day “a first step in reconciliation”, and pledging to bring the message home as well as to the government of Canada and the churches responsible. It is also an opportunity for Aboriginal governments, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation. Please click here for more information. #EveryChildMatters

School Board Office Staff supporting Orange Shirt Day