"When I think of Orange Shirt Day, right away it brings to mind that every child matters."
That is the core message of Orange Shirt Day, and also the words of Adeline Brown, a residential school survivor, and resolution health support worker supervisor from the Indian Residential School Survivor's Society.
Brown joined our podcast to talk about how September 30 has become an annual day of remembrance in the aftermath of the Canadian Indian Residential School system, an experience that has created intergenerational trauma for survivors and their descendants.
“Orange Shirt Day, for me, is a day that I can reflect on my own journey and my own experience and the things that I endured during my 10 years in residential schools," said Barney Williams Jr. (Taa-eee-sim-chilth), a Nuu-chah-nulth and a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations on Meares Island.
Williams Jr. is one of 10 members who served on the Indian Residential School Survivor Committee, which advised the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during its fact-finding mission.
You can listen to both interviews here.
Orange Shirt Day is a powerful reminder of the ongoing impact of colonialism on Indigenous people in Canada, and the important purpose its acknowledgement serves in reconciliation.
As well, a survivor of the Alberni Indian Residential School and St. Michael's Residential School in Alert Bay, Louisa Smith joined Prince Rupert's “Journeys" with Char Normandeau on CRFN radio today. A Xenaksiala of Kemano Bay in Prince Rupert, Smith has worked as a board member for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society for over a decade counselling Survivors and trauma, and educating frontline workers in First Nations communities across BC.
Wear a Digital Orange Shirt on Snapchat on Sept. 30
This year FNHA created a Snapchat filter for Orange Shirt Day so that we can honour residential school survivors online. Use the filter to share a message with your friends and family about why Orange Shirt Day is important to you by finishing the sentence “I wear orange because … “. Tell the youth in your life about this special Snapchat filter! Look for it on Snapchat!