Orange Shirt Day – Every Child Matters Campaign Recognized on September 29, 2017

ETFO invites members to support the September 30th Orange Shirt Day – Every Child Matters Campaign that commemorates and honours the survivors and children that attended the residential schools in Canada. ETFO is committed to moving forward into reconciliation and supporting this important commemoration is just one way to demonstrate honour to the survivors and children that attended the residential schools.
You can also check out the official website for Orange Shirt Day – Every Child Matters for more information on this annual campaign at this year’s shirt is featured above ($12.00 Cdn and comes from BC). Last year, Rachel Mishene, Executive Staff, First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education, designed a logo for her own orange shirt. If you don’t have one, please feel free to use her logo with her permission to make your own t-shirt. Contact for a digital file for t-shirt printing and a pdf of what it looks like.
What is Orange Shirt Day? In 1973 six-year old Phyllis Webstad was gifted a brand new orange shirt from her grandmother and wore it to the residential (mission) school she attended in British Columbia. Upon her arrival, school officials removed and discarded the shirt from her and replaced it with a school uniform. This greatly impacted the mental and emotional well-being of Webstad and symbolized that “her feelings never mattered”. September 30 was chosen as the date to commemorate all the children that attended residential schools as it was also the time of year that children had to leave their homes and communities to attend the schools. This annual campaign began in 2013 after Webstad shared this experience at a reunion with other survivors. You can read more about the campaign and watch a video featuring Phyllis here:
Canada’s legacy is a part of our collective history and our journey into reconciliation is also a demonstration of our commitment. It’s important that we support each other in our learning journey and that ETFO provide opportunities and resources for members to be culturally inclusive educators, including teaching about the residential school system. The Orange Shirt Day campaign provides an opportunity for all Canadians to participate in a collective act of reconciliation.
ETFO has compiled many First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) education resources and has created learning opportunities for members, including Truth & Reconciliation Webinars and residential school resources for teachers. Check out ETFO’s Spirit Horse website at
As the campaign embraces the phrase “Every Child Matters” we hope that everyone in our Local will support this campaign and wear orange on Sept. 29th
Yours in Federation,
George Taylor, President
ETFO Durham Occasional Teachers’ Local