Initiated by Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, Orange Shirt Day is held every 30 September to pay respects to Indigenous children who were mistreated by the Canadian residential school system. The event, under the motto "Every Child Matters," was born out of her own personal experience in the system. It is based particularly on the memory of having her orange shirt taken away from her on her first day, and the feelings of worthlessness this had led to.
To commemorate the day, organizers encourage everyone to wear an orange shirt and open up conversations about Indigenous issues and reconciliation.
Phyllis Webstad speaks about her experience and the Orange Shirt Day initiative. (Youtube/johndellca)