Sept. 30 is a day to remind Islanders of the history of residential schools and their impacts on First Nations and Indigenous peoples.
Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for Islanders to listen, learn and reflect about the history of residential schools in Canada and honour the thousands of survivors, their families and passed loved ones.
It is also a day to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for a more inclusive and fair future for all.
Today, we wear our orange shirts to acknowledge the residential school experience, to show our support for the Indigenous Children that survived Residential Schools, and for those children that did not. Every Child Matters. #OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters pic.twitter.com/ahRnNLdt9S— L'nuey PEI (@lnueypei) September 30, 2020
On Wendesday, Yvette McKenna, Deidre Augustine and Brittany Lush, all from Mi'kmaq Printing and Design, set up a table in front of St. Paul's Anglican Church, where they have been selling t-shirts to mark the important day.
The t-shirts have sold well this year, McKenna told The Guardian.
"The more we sell, the more people recognize and are aware."
Today, RCMP employees are wearing orange to honour and remember the Indigenous children who were sent away to Residential Schools. Take this day to reflect on the past, recognize our role, and start the conversation. #reconciliation #OrangeShirtDay pic.twitter.com/P9GxcLkphw— RCMP (@rcmpgrcpolice) September 30, 2020
Members of government also took part in the day.
In a news release, Premier Dennis King said he was wearing an orange shirt to honour those impacted by residential schools.
“As we all reflect on the darker moments of our past, we can also look ahead on our individual and collective actions and how we can work together to move forward in making us all proud to call Prince Edward Island our home.”
Today, I’m wearing an #OrangeShirt to honour those who have been deeply impacted by residential schools. As we all reflect on our individual and collective actions from Canada’s past, we must think of ways we can work together to continue fostering meaningful reconciliation pic.twitter.com/PTFYztSml9— Dennis King (@dennyking) September 30, 2020
The province is honouring the request of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by developing new curriculum and resources on Indigenous people and the history and legacy of residential schools.
Learn more about Orange Shirt Day at orangeshirtday.org.