Orange Shirt Day to honour survivors and descendants in Saskatoon
September 24, 2019
The City of Saskatoon, together with Reconciliation Saskatoon is proud to support Orange Shirt Day on September 30. The day aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact of the Indian residential school system on Indigenous people, their families and the social fabric of the community, and supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action #80.
“Our roots got shaken up, pulled up and cut off from our families but we are slowly re-rooting ourselves by reclaiming and re-learning our languages, our ceremonies – these are our sacred sites of resistance,” says Linda Young, a residential school survivor from Onion Lake Cree Nation.
“Speaking our ancestral language, practicing our ceremonies, protecting the Land and Water, is slowly but surely unclogging the blocked arteries to our hearts, giving us new life,” adds Young.
The public is invited to attend any of the following events to mark this day and learn more about the historical legacy of Indian Residential Schools:
Speaker Event – September 26
As a residential school survivor, Linda Young will share her personal story of time spent at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Indian Residential School. The event is free and takes place at Cosmo Civic Centre Theatre from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Please register in advance.
Free Community Pancake Breakfast – September 30
Hosted by CUMFI, this event aims to honour Indian residential school survivors, Sixties Scoop survivors, Day School, MMIWG and Two-Spirited peoples. It will take place at the Central Urban Metis Federation (CUMFI) Office from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Traditional Ceremonies & Mini Round Dance – September 30
Hosted by survivors and old people circle, the theme for the day is “Every Child Matters”. This event will celebrate the children and families at three traditional ceremonies. Events are taking place at White Buffalo Youth Lodge from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
“CUMFI is working with Reconciliation Saskatoon to educate the grass roots community on the impacts of Indian Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop by honouring the Survivors. We invite you all to wear orange on September 30 and to attend our community pancake breakfast,” says Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. President Shirley Isbister, President.
Orange Shirt Day grew out of the story of six-year old Phyllis Webstad who wore an orange shirt on her first day of residential school. It was forcefully removed from her and her story is now a powerful reminder of the inter-generational trauma that has resulted from decades of cultural loss.
Reconciliation Saskatoon is a 98-member initiative of community organizations, non-profit organizations, businesses and partners who have come together to initiate a citywide conversation about reconciliation and provide opportunities for everyone to engage in the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action.
The City of Saskatoon’s commitment to the TRC Calls to Action supports the City’s strategic goal of Quality of Life by identifying actions for enhancing Indigenous residents’ well-being and participation in our community.
Orange Shirt Day events are made possible through the support of community investors Nutrien, Affinity, Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporate, SIGA, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Community Foundation and the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund.