OTTAWA, Sept. 29, 2017 /CNW/ - The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, and the Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, issued the following statement today:
"September 30 is Orange Shirt day, and we encourage all Canadians to wear orange in order to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of survivors.
Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters grew from the story of one child, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, whose grandmother gave her a shiny orange shirt to wear at St. Joseph Mission Residential School in British Columbia. On her first day the shirt was taken away and never to be seen again. Gone, too, was the child's sense of dignity and self-worth. However, Phyllis is a survivor of Canada's residential schools, and now her story is shared so that we all can better understand the legacy of these institutions in our country.
Canada has embarked on a journey of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. A fundamental part of this journey is the process of truth telling, healing, and recognizing past injustices. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and its Calls to Actions are helping to shed light on a dark chapter of Canada's history of colonization and residential schools, and the impact the schools still have today on Indigenous peoples.
All Canadians have a role to play in reconciliation. On September 30, we encourage everyone to not only wear orange but to also take this opportunity to learn more about the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, and to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report and Calls to Action.
We must all come together in the spirit of reconciliation and healing in order to give hope to future generations and make lasting change for Indigenous peoples of this country."
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: For more information, media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 819-956-5372; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160