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Orange Shirt Day 2020

September 30, 2019 - 12:00 AM

Orange Shirt Day · September 30

Honouring and acknowledging the experiences of former students and survivors of the residential school system

Orange Shirt Day is held annually across Canada on September 30 to honour the experiences of former students and survivors and to promote awareness about the residential school system and the harm it has had and continues to have on Indigenous communities.

This month, in accordance with the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) calls to action, the Government of Canada recognized the national historic significance of the residential school system as a tragic and defining event in Canadian history. Also announced was the designation of the residential school in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and the site of the Shubenacadie residential school in Nova Scotia as national historic sites.

At the initiative of the Long Plain First Nation, the Portage building is now the National Indian Residential School Museum of Canada, which will educate the world about what happened to Indigenous children across Canada.

On Orange Shirt Day this year, the Unifor Social Justice Fund is making a donation to the newly opened museum.

In testimony by survivors to the TRC, hunger was the common theme. As the TRC concluded in their 2015 summary report - the federal government knowingly chose not to provide schools with resources to ensure that Indigenous children received adequate nutrition, hunger was always present.

This year in commemoration of residential school children and survivors, Unifor locals and Regional Councils will be making donations in support of Indigenous school breakfast and lunch programs.

Here are ways that you can participate: