Orange Shirts and Reconciliation
Tomorrow is September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, known also as Orange Shirt Day.
The United Church of Canada’s website includes this information about Orange Shirt Day:
“On September 30, people all across Canada will wear orange shirts to remember and honour Indigenous children who were taken from their communities and families to residential schools.
The summer of 2021 was a summer of orange shirts as Indigenous communities across the country shared the truth they have always known: that many of the children who never returned from residential schools remain on the grounds of those institutions in unmarked burial sites. These communities are now seeking to honour the missing children.
This Orange Shirt Day is also the first observance of a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. For settler Christians in particular, this is a time when we can reflect on our role in colonialism and the residential school system, and our ongoing responsibility to make reparations.
Phyllis Jack Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation went to St. Joseph Mission Residential School. On her first day of school, Phyllis wore an orange shirt that her grandmother had given her. It was immediately taken away, and that marked the beginning of Phyllis’s long separation from her family and community, a separation caused by actions of the church and federal government.
Orange Shirt Day is a time for us all to remember those events, their ongoing impact, and just as importantly the continuing strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples.”
Here is a link to a message from The Rt. Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator of The United Church of Canada:
We will NOT be gathering for TMUC’s weekly ZOOM chat tomorrow morning. Instead, we invite you to spend time reflecting upon Orange Shirt Day or participating in local activities and actions commemorating Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
We keep you in our prayers,
Carol and Jeff