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What does Orange Shirt Day mean to you - challenge winners


Some art work created by the winners of the Orange shirt day contest
Winning artwork submitted by Ava Campbell, Khloe Jack, and Judy April (left to right).

In honour of the annual Orange Shirt Day, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and NH Indigenous Health partnered to host a t-shirt decorating challenge in Fall 2020.

The challenge involved decorating a t-shirt to show what Orange Shirt Day means to you. We received submissions from across the North and here are the three winners!

  • Ava Campbell, Grade 3, Gitxsan Nation
  • Khloe Jack, Grade 3, Gitxsan Nation
  • Judy April, Dawson Creek

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day is a day to remember, to witness, and to honour the healing journey of residential-school survivors and their families, and to demonstrate a commitment to processes of reconciliation.

The day celebrates the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and communities and provides an opportunity for all people in Canada to engage in discussions or provide acknowledgement and support in addressing the brutal legacy of the residential school system.

Phyllis’ story reminds us every day of the children that were taken from their families and sent to residential schools. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.

Residential schools are a dark part of Canadian history and learning about them can be hard for many people. As hard as it may be for some to learn about residential schools and our shared colonial history, it’s critical to acknowledge and recognize these topics in a spirit of reconciliation and for future generations of children.