Little Current/Mindemoya, ON – In the spirit of continuing to raise awareness and increase our efforts for cultural safety, in line with our Strategic Plan (2019-2024), the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) acknowledges Truth and Reconciliation Week September 27th to October 1st.
The week of September 27th through to October 1st is Truth and Reconciliation Week with September 30th being Orange Shirt Day, a special day held to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion Events that took place in Williams Lake, BC in May of 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself. As a spokesperson for the Reunion Group, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at the residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a 6-year old girl.
The intent of Orange Shirt Day is to open conversations on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do all those that have been affected. Orange Shirt Day was declared as a “first step in reconciliation”. The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools. It is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the upcoming school year.
MHC acknowledges and acts in solidarity with our Indigenous community partners, especially during Truth and Reconciliation Week.
If you or someone you know is in crisis as a result of the recent developments or is a Residential School Survivor, we would encourage you to reach out to The National Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419 or to mental health supports at Talk4Healing 1-855-554-HEAL or the Hope for Wellness Health Line at 1-855-242-3310.
Paula Fields, Interim Co-CEO said “One of the mandates of the Strategic Plan of Manitoulin Health Centre is to ensure cultural safety for our Indigenous community. All of us in the organization, owe our community the opportunity to learn, grow and be true to the Truth and Reconciliation process. MHC stands in solidarity with our Indigenous Community Partners in recognizing Truth and Reconciliation Week, Orange Shirt Day and Every Child Matters.”
#EveryChildMatters #OrangeShirtDay #RespectPassionTruth