Today is Orange Shirt Day in Canada. On this Day we remember the survivors and victims of the residential school system as well as the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are encouraged to wear an orange coloured shirt if we have one.
The colour is orange because in 2013 a residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, shared her story of how in 1973 she went to her first day of residential school in Williams Lake, BC, wearing her shiny new orange shirt only to have it taken away from her. That “welcome to school” was just the beginning of many hurtful experiences which she carried into adulthood. Sadly, her experiences are shared by First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children across Canada. As a Nation we are called to remember and to commit ourselves to working toward reconciliation that our country may be a place where all people, especially Indigenous people, are respected and welcomed as individuals created by our loving Creator.
In Calgary there are a number of events planned for September 30. You will find some of them listed at https://www.alberta.ca/orange-shirt-day.aspx. The report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is also available on the web with some information about how the 94 Calls to Action are being fulfilled.
Bible Reading: Psalm 100; Psalm 15.