Madam Speaker, today is the fourth annual Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters. This nationally-recognized movement commemorates the thousands of indigenous children across Canada who were taken from their homes and sent to a residential school.
The legacy of this day stems from the experience of a six-year-old girl, named Phyllis Webstad, who had her shiny, new orange shirt taken from her upon arriving at a residential school. The orange shirt represents the loss of culture, identity, and language for thousands of indigenous children, the effects of which are still felt to this day.
The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs is mandated to work with indigenous communities to gain back the culture and identity that was lost.
Although efforts such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada have made strides in making amends with Canada's indigenous population, continued efforts are needed to heal the wounds inflicted by residential schools.