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Orange Shirt Day: A Time for Recollection and Reconciliation

From Mental Health Commission of Canada

Orange Shirt Day, September 30, is an occasion to pause and remember Canada’s residential school survivors and to reflect on our collective responsibility to take steps towards reconciliation.

On her first day of residential school, Phyllis Webstad’s prized possession, an orange shirt gifted by her grandmother, was taken away. Today, we wear orange to remember those whose cultures and kinships were systematically stolen.

The journey towards reconciliation is a long one— we cannot undo overnight trauma inflicted over many generations. But recent efforts, like the National Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, developed by and for Indigenous peoples in partnership with the federal government and provinces, is an important step to repairing the damage where it began: with vulnerable children. When it comes to mental wellness, a good beginning can reverberate across a lifetime.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada honours the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We have partnered with Reconciliation Canada to ensure all staff join reconciliation dialogue workshops, an essential foundation for the compassion that breeds healing.

On September 30, wear an orange shirt in the spirit of reconciliation and pledge your commitment to build a better tomorrow for every child in Canada.

Louise Bradley
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Mental Health Commission of Canada, Media Relations
613-857-0840 / media@mentalhealthcommission.ca

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The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change, an organization designed to recommend improvements to the mental health system on a national level. We are not directly involved in individual cases of advocacy, outreach, service delivery or local supports.