On September 30, the City of Markham invites you to participate in meaningful education, reflection and engagement to mark Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, B.C. in 2013 and was inspired by the story of residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, who wanted to pass along the message that every day, every child matters.
In 1973, six year-old Phyllis was given an orange shirt by her grandmother for her first day of school. On her first day at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School, her clothes – including her beloved orange shirt – were taken away and never returned.
The City of Markham encourages everyone to wear an orange shirt on September 30 to recognize the harm caused by residential schools, and to express our commitment to uphold the value and worth of all people.
A “What does Orange Shirt Day mean to me?” activity is also available online. Download and print an Orange Shirt Day graphic that can be completed with markers or other art materials, or download and complete a digital version that can be shared on social media. Remember to use the hashtag #OrangeShirtDay and tag the City of Markham on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
To address one of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Government of Canada proclaimed September 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with Bill C-5. Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will fall on September 30, 2021.
Markham Public Library will offer a Truth and Reconciliation webinar on September 30, led by Curtis Vinish from noon to 1 PM, on the topics of anti-racism, decolonization and reconciliation. Register to attend this free webinar.
For more information and resources, visit the City of Markham’s virtual events page.