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Orange Shirt Day

Picture of Doug Caley
Orange Shirt Day
by Doug Caley - Wednesday, 23 September 2015, 10:09 AM

NSMS is proud to participate in Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters.

It was 1973 and Phyllis Webstad was on her way to St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School located in Williams Lake, British Columbia. Her grandmother had purchased a brand new orange shirt for her. Webstad recalls how the shirt was adorned with eyelets and lace and how she couldn’t wait to wear the new orange shirt to school. But that feeling of excitement didn’t last long. Immediately upon arrival, school staff took her new orange shirt away and Webstad never saw it again. From that moment on and throughout her life, the colour orange came to symbolize how her feelings never mattered or that no one seemed to care—until recently.

When Webstad, a member of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, shared this experience at a St. Joseph’s Mission reunion in spring 2013, the story of the orange shirt went global. From now on, September 30th is marked as Orange Shirt Day – Every Child Matters. It’s become a day to recognize former residential school students, their losses, and the impacts residential school made on a child’s self-esteem.  It is also a day to remember those who didn’t come home from the schools.

So, on September 30th, wear your Orange Shirt and show that You Care!