Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013.
Edmonton is not exempt from the long history of Residential Schools that saw thousands of Indigenous children taken from their families to be assimilated into settler culture.
The Youville Indian Residential School (1892-1948), St. Albert’s Indian Residential School (1941-1948) and Edmonton Industrial School (1919-1960) operated for years in the Greater Edmonton Area.
Orange Shirt Day is a chance for all of us as Treaty people, to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
Edmonton Community Foundation has been supporting Indigenous-led and -serving organizations since 1990. That year we provided two grants to support the Ben Calf Robe Society’s Family Support Program ($13,300) and the Métis Children’s Services Society ($7,000) to conduct research for its youth programming.
Since then we have continued building relationships with the Indigenous communities on Treaty 6 territory. We are committed to continuing our journey down the path of reconciliation and this September 30th we encourage everyone to learn more about Orange Shirt Day and the issues it brings to light.
Here is a list of other Indigenous led/serving organizations that ECF has supported:
Amiskwaciy Academy (Edmonton Public Schools)
Natamoowin Education Foundation (Yellowhead Tribal College)