moved for leave to introduce Bill C-386, An Act to establish Orange Shirt Day: A Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce my private member's bill that would recognize September 30 as orange shirt day in honour of residential school survivors and those who did not survive. I am deeply grateful for the support of my colleagues for this initiative.
The title comes from a story shared by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who at six years of age had her orange shirt forcibly removed on her first day of residential school. Orange shirt day would acknowledge that Canada intended to assimilate indigenous children into colonial culture by depriving them of their clothing, their language, and contact with their families. It would also educate future generations about the importance of respect and the role that both indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians must play in reconciliation.
This bill responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. Generations of indigenous children endured tremendous pain and harm. Canadians must never forget this history and must strive to do better.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)