On behalf of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), Louise Bradley, President and CEO, made the following statement.
“On Orange Shirt Day, Saturday, September 30, people from all walks of life will wear orange to honour and remember survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and reaffirm their commitment to reconciliation.
A former residential school student, Phyllis Webstad, had her prized possession, an orange shirt, taken from her on her first day of school. The shirt, a gift from her grandmother, has come to symbolize the tremendous losses endured by Indigenous peoples – the shattering of kinships, cultures and communities.
Today, we acknowledge the legacy of residential schools and the ongoing socio-economic disparities that persist among Indigenous children. Finally, the long journey to reconciliation has begun – with important first steps – as some underserved Indigenous communities are beginning to gain access to safe water and electricity. Though repairing the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples will take many forms, working in partnership to ensure these basic needs are met is intrinsic to fostering a culture of mental wellness.
At the MHCC, we continue on our own path to reconciliation. This year, our efforts included expanded Indigenous representation on our Board of Directors and reconciliation dialogue workshops for all our staff. We continue to look for ways to build cultural humility within our organization. On September 30, don an orange shirt and join us in recognizing Orange Shirt Day.”
ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we create change. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca
Hélène Côté, Senior Communications Advisor, Public Affairs
Mental Health Commission of Canada