(Toronto, September 30, 2019) Today, the Chiefs of Ontario and Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald are commemorating the 7th annual Orange Shirt Day and encourage all Canadians to wear orange in solidarity and remembrance of the residential school survivors. Orange Shirt Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness and have meaningful conversations about the damaging impacts residential schools have had on Indigenous Peoples across Canada, and remember those who didn’t survive.
“The residential school era was a dark chapter in Canada’s history and the direct impact of forced assimilation that it has had on Indigenous languages, culture and heritage are forever interwoven into our shared history. Orange Shirt Day represents not only Phyllis Webstab’s experience, but also many children who attended these schools since they began operating in the 1880s and the result was generations of intergenerational trauma.
I am encouraging all Canadians to wear orange in solidarity and remembrance for residential school survivors. We have an opportunity for all Canadians to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and set the stage for how we can collectively move towards a safe environment for Indigenous peoples to thrive.
Concurrently with Orange Shirt Day, it is essential to link to the current child welfare crisis within Ontario. I am calling on all Canadians to stand shoulder to shoulder with us to address the systemic issues currently facing the youth within our communities, 102 children’s death is too heart-breaking. Our vision includes implementing a needs-based and prevention-focused approach to child welfare that is indigenous-led and will allow the youth to have their best interests met with a focus on mental health. First Nations must have full jurisdiction over their children regardless of where they reside.
We all have a role to play in creating safe environments for our children and youth. We must continue to work towards a concrete action plan for all levels of government to make fundamental, systemic, and the required legislative changes to ensure families-at-risk receive prevention services and financial investment.
Every child matters, and as there is still much work to be done, we need to make them part of the conversation and keep the thousands of residential school students who didn’t survive, in our hearts.”
Learn more about Orange Shirt Day, please click here: http://www.orangeshirtday.org/
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
Media Contact: Scott Cavan, Scott.Cavan@coo.org or cell: 416-522-0706
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