🇨🇦 The Story of Orange Shirt Day

Orange shirt Day header2

I support the indigenous people everywhere on the planet. ~ Edward James Olmos


Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself.  It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc  Nations along with the Cariboo Regional District, the Mayors and municipalities, School Districts and civic organizations in the Cariboo Region.

Video courtesy of johndellca – Published on Sep 24, 2016

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.  Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, and as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of this project.  As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.

The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.  A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation.  A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.  Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from 2013-09-30-09-19-18_2their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

It all started right here in the Cariboo, and as a result, School District No. 27 has been chosen by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) to pilot curriculum changes for all Grade 5 and Grade 10 students reflecting the residential school experience, to be implemented province-wide.

Resolutions have been passed in support of Orange Shirt Day by local governments, school districts, and First Nations in the Cariboo and beyond.  Most recently the AFN Chiefs-in-Council passed a resolution declaring Orange Shirt Day “a first step in reconciliation”, and pledging to bring the message home as well as to the government of Canada and the churches responsible.

On this day of September 30th, we call upon humanity to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it.

Post pictures of your event or activity, share your story, or simply enjoy others sharing theirs.

Courtesy of The Story of Orange Shirt Day

The New Bullying Prevention © 2012 – 2018Back to Top

love animated gifs letters photo collage photo flash color HD banner flash mask effects shareware freeware i love you kiss love banners decor websites blogs facebook HD



If You Don’t Say It – Who Will?

family care network2

A Case for Advocacy by Jim Roberts, CEO

“Don’t ever depend on someone else to do your duty of Advocacy; if you do not say it – who will? Otherwise, negative change will be perpetrated upon us wherein we have no control.”

advocacy2Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt intimidated, shy, excessively nervous, restrained or unwilling to make your opinion known. Now look around you, there’s probably a lot of hands in the air!

On the other hand (no pun intended), there are plenty of people who we wish would be less obsessed with being verbose; you know, the hot-air syndrome. Either way, we are so fortunate to live in a society where we can freely speak our mind and give voice to what is important to us.

ActNow-Change-SPANMany of you have heard me teach or talk about the importance of “Change.” Change is essential for growth and improvement; whether it be individually or organizationally change is necessary. But there’s a caveat: what type of change are we talking about? There are basically three faces of change:

  1. that which is forced upon us and we react to – we don’t want this;
  2. change we initiate ourselves because it’s the right thing to do; and
  3. change which we help produce on a much larger scale and with far greater potential impact.

This third type is Advocacy. Healthy change is change that we initiate ourselves and advocate! 

Blue-Smiley-FaceFor me, living in a free, democratic society, Advocacy is not an option – it’s a responsibility. Unfortunately, it seems that too many people would rather complain, bellyache, boo-hoo, feel sorry for themselves or cry “the sky is falling” than to do anything to evoke positive change. The “I’m only one person, what can I do”  

The attitude we should embrace is: “If I don’t say it–who will?” Never be content to be silent.

It is an understatement to say that the American political system is in total shambles right now – it’s a mess! I attribute this to three conditions.

First, we have wrongly put our “elected” officials on pedestals calling them our “leaders.” They are not our leaders; they are our “representatives” and should be following the voices of their constituents, not party politics or gratuitous financiers.

shutterstock_275146133-copySecond, the public is far too complacent, has basically lost its voice and failed its responsibility to Advocate.

Third, because the public at large has abdicated its responsibility to Advocate and hold elected officials accountable, these officials have become political prostitutes selling themselves to the highest bidder and rigging the system to keep themselves in power!

There is no time better than right now to start wearing that t-shirt which states boldly: “If you don’t say it – who will?” Fulfill your civic duty – become an Advocate! Exercising our right to speak up is the only way we will stop the political pandering and inappropriate behaviour of our “elected” officials.

I have been advocating for children, youth and families for nearly five decades and I will continue as long as I am able. It is rewarding and sometimes horribly frustrating, but it is the right thing to do. Needless to say, I have a few Lessons Learned I’d like to share.

First, remember politics begin at home. Get to know your city council person, County Supervisor or other key elected officials, (i.e., school board members). Voice your opinion and communicate with them enough so that they know who you are. I have experienced how my own relationships developed at this level, very often are carried into other political settings and higher offices. The operative word here is “relationship.” It is important to remain respectful of these officials, whether you agree with them or not. You never want to be viewed as some bombastic, hostile kook!

Second, communicate often, effectively and succinctly. Do your homework, know your facts and present your ideas with complete brevity in mind. Elected officials and their chuckie suit2aides will not take the time to read lengthy dissertations! Phone calls, emails and twitter post can be equally effective, especially when giving your opinion on specific legislation.

Third, meet face-to-face whenever you can. I cannot stress enough how important this personal interaction is, even if it’s only for a few minutes. You want that legislator or their aides to see you enough to remember who you are.

Fourth, don’t minimize your ability to have an influence. You don’t need to be rich or powerful to be heard. It has been said that politicians know that for every individual who articulates an opinion there are probably 1000 or more who agree with their opinion but have remained silent. Regardless of your station in life – relentlessly Advocate!

Finally, there is strength in numbers. I call it “Synergetic Collaboration,” and it’s when the collaborative outcome is far greater than each individual effort. This is really a re-articulation of what we call a “grass-roots” campaign. Learn how to mobilize others or join others who share the same point of view. Learn to use Twitter effectively. Every federal legislator and almost every state legislator consistently monitors Twitter feed. Why? Because it serves as an insta-poll, providing real-time, up-to-the-minute feedback about what people are thinking.

2sgn108VOTEThere is yet another way to Advocate – at the ballot box! Elected officials who fail to follow the input of their constituents need to be removed. The era of partisan politics needs to end. Elected officials should not be beholden or responsible to any political party or financier. Remember, they are our representatives and must only be accountable and responsible to the public they represent. I know, this change in thinking may be a challenge for many who have been lifelong R’s or D’s, or whatever, and only think in that collective mentality. But this type of “party-loyalty” is destroying the democratic process, not enhancing it.

Article for Family Care Network by  Jim Roberts, CEO ~ July 29, 2016


The New Bullying Prevention © 2016

Back to Top

love animated gifs letters photo collage photo flash color HD banner flash mask effects shareware freeware download i love you kiss love banners decor websites blogs facebook HD