Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize Orange Shirt Day, because every child matters.
I would like to read a letter from an Oji-Cree teenager who wrote to me. She wrote:
Dear House of Commons.
Residential schools have played a huge role in the history of Canada. ...this needs to be told to every Canadian...to bring awareness and honour the survivors of residential schools and their families.
September 30th is known as Orange Shirt Day because on this day, an indigenous woman, Phyllis Webstad, was stripped of her orange shirt on the first day of school. This action symbolizes the way many Indigenous children were stripped of their identity and culture in Residential schools.
When you destroy a culture, a language and tradition, you demolish the foundation of a human being. Many indigenous people are still suffering in silence... That is why the goal of Orange Shirt Day is to bring comfort and closure to the survivors of Residential schools to remind them that we support them on their journey to healing.
I hope you all take the time to stand with us and bring hope for a better future.