September 30th, formerly known as Orange Shirt Day has been recognized by the Canadian federal government as Canada’s newest stat holiday – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, so that Canadians across the country can reflect and recognize that immense damage that was done to over 150,000 indigenous children and their families.
Lancaster Brooks & Welch feel this is a significant date and should be recognized as such.
Therefore, our offices will be closed on September 30th. We re-open October 1st.
Orange Shirt Day (September 30th) is a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.
What were residential schools?
Students and a nun in a classroom at Cross Lake Indian Residential School, Manitoba, 1940. (REUTERS/Canada)
Residential schools were church-run schools where approximately 150,000 Métis, Inuit and First Nations children were sent between the 1860s and the 1990s. The schools harmed Indigenous children by removing them from their families, forcing them to speak English or French instead of their ancestral languages, disconnecting them from their culture and traditions and forcing them to adopt Christianity in order to assimilate into Canadian society. The government has since acknowledged that this approach was wrong, cruel and ineffective, and offered an official apology to the Indigenous people of Canada in 2008.
Why is September 30th a special date?
September 30th falls during the time of year when Indigenous children were taken away to residential school.
Why is it an orange shirt?
The “orange shirt” in Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad was given to her by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”
What does Orange Shirt day represent?
The message that Phyllis wants to pass along on Orange Shirt Day — and every day — is that every child matters. Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis to educate people about residential schools and fight racism and bullying.