The City is preparing for Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30) by urging Saskatoon residents, businesses, and organizations to 1) wear an orange shirt on September 30th and, 2) accept the ConnectR Reconciliation Challenge.
Orange Shirt Day is a day to mark the healing journey of residential school survivors and their families and to renew our commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation. It’s a day for us to reaffirm that Every Child Matters. The date was chosen because it’s the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools.
“Wearing an orange shirt on September 30th is an easy but important way to acknowledge the impact residential schools had and continue to have on Indigenous communities,” says Melissa Cote, the City’s Director of Indigenous Initiatives. “The ConnectR Reconciliation Challenge is an opportunity to go one step further and gain insights into the past and present realities of Indigenous people. We’re really excited to see people take up the challenge.”
Wear an Orange Shirt
Any orange shirt will do, however, there is the option to purchase an Every Child Matters t-shirt at orangeshirtday.net. Shirts are $15 apiece with discounts for bulk orders. (Note: you need to be registered and logged in to place an order.) Partial proceeds go to the Orange Shirt Society to support awareness activities.
Accept the ConnectR Reconciliation Challenge
The Reconciliation Challenge is a commitment to start or continue a journey of reconciliation by using the BeAConnectR.com website to learn more about Indigenous peoples’ past and present experiences. Each week for 8 weeks, beginning this Sunday (Sept. 13th), participants choose a new challenge. Things like:
- Read an Indigenous author
- Learn about the treaty territory you reside on
- Try an Indigenous recipe
- Watch residential school survivor videos
- Watch an Indigenous film
Organizations and individuals can also join the ConnectR Challenge Facebook Group to share experiences and receive updates to help guide and support their journey. The group will be a link to survivor videos and four online events where Indigenous Elders, survivors, educators, artists and youth inspire and educate this community of people learning and taking action. Those not on Facebook can email [email protected] to be added to an email list.
Orange Shirt Day ConnectR Reconciliation Challenge was made possible through investments by Nutrien and a partnership between Reconciliation Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Survivors Circle—a group of Elders that are residential school survivors who ensure that residential schools and their legacy are never forgotten. Reconciliation Saskatoon is a community of over 115 organizations, non-profits, businesses and partners who have come together towards one mission: to initiate a citywide conversation about reconciliation and provide opportunities for everyone to engage in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The City of Saskatoon co-chairs Reconciliation Saskatoon.