B.C. politicians wear orange shirts to remember residential school experience

By The Canadian Press
September 21, 2017 - 3:58pm

VICTORIA — British Columbia politicians of all stripes wore orange shirts during a ceremony at the legislature to remember the thousands of Indigenous children who were forced to go to Canadian residential schools.

Orange Shirt Day originates from the residential school experience of Phyllis Webstad, who was six years old when she arrived at St. Joseph Mission residential school in Williams Lake, B.C., and told she couldn’t wear the new orange shirt her bought for her first day of school.

Webstad, who is now 50, told the gathering at the legislature that she has a vivid memory of buying the shirt.

She says she went to the store with her grandmother to purchase the shiny, lace-up shirt, but it was taken from her when she arrived at the school.

Webstad says for years the colour orange reminded her of feelings of rejection, but now Orange Shirt Day builds strength for children.

Premier John Horgan says he wore his orange shirt to remember the residential school experience for Indigenous children and ensure the rights of children and not denied.

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