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Events to honour Orange Shirt Day across Canada

There are events happening in multiple provinces today to honour the healing journey of survivors and the families of survivors of residential schools

Photo by: Facebook/@orangeshirtdayeverychildmatters

Wednesday is Orange Shirt Day, a nationwide project created to shed light on the history of residential schools in Canada, to honour the Indigenous people who were affected by these institutions and to push forward with the process of reconciliation. There are a number of Orange Shirt Day events across Canada today, including a hike in B.C. This started in 2013, and it takes place every year on September 30. Other events (both in-person and virtual) will be held in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C. and even abroad. 

Orange Shirt Day 

As outlined on the Orange Shirt Day website, the event is a “legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, B.C., in May 2013.” This was a reconciliation project that brought former residential school students and their families together and was meant to “commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families.” Orange Shirt Day was born from that, and it is now an annual tradition. 

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Orange Shirt Day is now used as a way to spread knowledge regarding Canada’s history of residential schools and to create discussions among Canadians everywhere. Above all, it is “a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.” 

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2020 events 

The Worklink Hike for Orange Shirt Day in Victoria will be held at noon local time, starting at 3179 Jacklin Road, Victoria, and last an hour. Organizers note on the event website that “physical distancing and other precautions will be in place” due to COVID-19. There is also a bike ride taking place (called the 24-Hour Ride for Residential School Victims and Survivors) and a free yoga class, both being held in Ontario. In addition to these physical events, there will be Zoom presentations and ceremonies held throughout the day. For a full list of events and to learn more about Orange Shirt Day, click here

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