Whetung Ojibwa Centre
The Orange Shirt Story-Every Child Matters
The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad, Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band), explains the truth behind Orange Shirt Day held each September 30th. The storyteller describes her first day attending St. Joseph's Mission residential school in Williams Lake, B.C., in the 1970s. On this memorable day the young Phyllis wore a new orange shirt purchased by her grandmother. Upon arriving at the residential school the shirt was removed from Phyllis and never returned by the nuns operating the school. Phyllis never forgot this experience. The story begins a discussion about residential schools and their impact on the children and their families and communities. To acknowledge the truth and create awareness Phyllis Webstad began this special day when students and adults wear an orange shirt to proclaim that every child matters and encourages all Canadians to join in the growing movement of reconciliation. The book contains a helpful map of Secwepemc territory, along with a brief history of the Shuswap people, the St. Joseph's Mission residential school, and a glossary of terms. This ideal resource picture book captures the author's experiences attending residential school through accessible text and highly evocative illustrations by Brock Nicol. Highly recommended.