SLRD Board and Staff wear orange on September 26, 2018 to commemorate Orange Shirt Day.
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Board has proclaimed September 30, 2018 as Orange Shirt Day to “acknowledge the harm caused to Indigenous Peoples by Canada’s residential school system, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, to remember those who did not survive, and to reaffirm our commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation.”
- The SLRD Board of Directors and Staff will also recognize Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday, September 26, which is the day of the September SLRD Board Meeting.
The proclamation of Orange Shirt Day reinforces the SLRD’s commitment to enhancing its relationships with Indigenous people and First Nations, which was identified as a strategic priority in 2015 and reaffirmed in 2016 with the resolution to be a Regional District of Reconciliation and to work towards turning those words into actions.
What is Orange Shirt Day?
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, B.C. in the spring of 2013. Orange Shirt Day grew from the story of residential school survivor Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who, at the age of six, was stripped of her orange shirt on her first day of school.
Orange Shirt Day was started in the Cariboo Chilcotin region by the community and survivors of the St. Joseph's Mission residential School. The date was chosen because it reflects the time of year when children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. Recognizing Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools top of mind and it is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation.
Orange Shirt Day is becoming a national movement, acknowledging the harm of the residential school system and affirming that every child matters.