Every Child Matters: Saskatchewan's Unions Recognize The Need For True Change, Equality & Justice
Saskatchewan Unions Commission Production of Orange T-Shirts to Acknowledge History of Residential Schools & Honour The Survivors
Saskatchewan's unions - more than ever - commit to listen, learn, and embrace Truth and Reconciliation while we work to address the difficult truth of racism that continues in this country.
We recognize we did not create residential schools, The Indian Act or were a part of the Sixties Scoop - but we acknowledge and accept all we have inherited.
We stand with our First Nations and Metis communities in their call to end racism and will follow their guidance as we work towards creating true change.
In honour of the residential school survivors and in memory of those who did not return home, SUN, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) and affiliate Unions, encourage you to wear orange as a sign of acknowledgment and support.
The SFL has commissioned Saskatchewan-owned and operated - Articulate Ink - to produce, sell and distribute Every Child Matters t-shirts on their behalf.
The T-shirt was designed by Torrie Ironstar, Articulate Ink’s printer and a talented artist. Torrie is Nakota from Ocean Man, First Nation. He is a deaf artist, born and raised in Regina. He became interested in portraiture in high school after studying the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. He is self-taught and enjoys experimenting with mixed media and different techniques on canvas. Follow him on Instagram @t_ironstar.
SIZES: Adult Small - 3XL; Unisex sizes only.
PRICE: $21-$25 (taxes and fees included)
All proceeds from the sale of the Every Child Matters T-Shirt will be donated to The Gathering Place run by Regina Treaty Status Indian Services (RTSIS), to support their work offering trauma care and support for residential school survivors and their families.
ORDER: Complete the order form provided below and submit your order directly to Articulate Ink at email@example.com.
PAYMENT OPTIONS & INQUIRIES: Articulate Ink will be managing the sale of the orange t-shirts - please send all inquiries regarding the sale of the t-shirts directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Why An Orange Shirt?
The “orange shirt” refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad was given to her by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”
Hear Phyllis's story and the significance of wearing an Orange Shirt and recognizing Orange Shirt Day (Sept 30): https://youtu.be/E3vUqr01kAk
A Message for Canadians
An extremely gracious and thoughtful response from Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme on CBC's The National on June 25, 2021, when host Ian Hanomansing asked what his message is to Canadians:
"From a First Nation perspective, I love living in Canada. I went to university, I grew up on Cowessess, I have the best job I think I ever wanted, being chief. It's not an easy task. But there is an accidental racism and ignorance in this country when it comes to history. You know, Indigenous people - and I'm speaking from Cowessess perspective - we don't want to live in our current state. We want to be part of the economy. We want to be part of the growth... the social lives.
Sometimes in this country, being Indigenous, it's as if you gotta prove yourself a little more. You're so used seeing maybe, someone asking for change and being Indigenous... you know, there's a story behind every one, of the history that we inherited. So my comment to everybody listening is, from Cowessess, we're not asking for pity. We're asking for understanding. We're asking that you stand beside us, that as we are gaining our control again - as Indigenous people - in our Treaty relationship, that we have better understanding. That our kids going to school understand the impact that residential school made, but also even pre... what great economy Indigenous people had prior to Treaty. This country would be so much more well-off, when Indigenous ideology and understanding is welcomed in, and not just brought in on certain days of the year.
(On the debate over whether to cancel Canada Day)
I would never tell somebody what to and what not to celebrate. You know, in 2021, we all inherited this. Nobody today created residential schools. Nobody today created the Indian Act. Nobody today created the Sixties Scoop. But we all inherited this. And if we want to say we're proud Canadians, then we will accept the beautiful country we have today, and we will accept what we all inherited. And what I would challenge is: Everybody on Canada Day in this country, if you say you're a proud Canadian, read the Truth and Reconciliation 'Calls to Action.' Over 100,000 residential school survivors told their story - including my parents - and they created the Truth and Reconciliation 'Calls to Action.' Bring that into your personal life, your social life, your business life. And read the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 'Calls to Action.' There are 231 Calls to Action. If we can all own those a little bit in this country, in one generation we would overcome so many challenges today, that our next generation won't inherit this. We will make them more as Dreamers."