Do you remember your first day of school - or that of your children? Did you feel excited, nervous, hopeful? Did you have carefully chosen or new clothing to wear? Were you eager to meet new teachers who would support you and help you learn? 

Now imagine this is your story - here's what Phyllis experienced on her first day of school...

  "I had just turned 6 years old. We never had very much money, and there was no welfare, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a now outfit to go to the Mission School ...a shiny orange shirt. It had eyelets and lace, and I felt so pretty in that shirt and excited...
when I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt. I never saw it again, except on other kids...." Read Phyllis's full story HERE

That is part of the story of Indian Residential School Survivor Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, not that long ago. Read the rest of her story, click HERE.

Like over 150,000 other First Nations students across Canada, Phyllis was forced to attend a residential school... where the sole purpose was to 'fix' and assimilate children by 'Killing the Indian in the child.' 

I learned her story at the 2013 Reconciliation Week events supported by Reconciliation Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the main funder (Vancity Credit Union), and many local partners and volunteers.

Why we created a fundraising t-shirt to support Orange Shirt Day.

IOrange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters Fundraising Tn honour of Phyllis' story and those of other Residential School survivors (especially those who did not make it home), Spiritlink Communications is proud to support Orange Shirt Day on September 30th. 

First Nations artist Tara-Lee Gardner and I worked together to create an Orange Shirt Campaign using her chickadees, who are singers of truth in her traditional teachings. 

With Phyllis' consent, we decided to donate $5 from every t-shirt sold to Reconciliation Canada.  

ORDER YOUR SHIRT ONLINE HERE: or come visit Tara-Lee at the Artist in the Atrium Sept. 27-29 11am to 4pm at the Woodward's Building 111 W. Hastings in Vancouver (shared Coast Salish territory).

Learn more about the design, the partners who came together to make this happen, and ways you can get involved by clicking HERE...