Recognizing and honouring First Nations who died in and survived residential school through Orange Shirt Day

September 30, 2020

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB –The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is issuing this release on behalf of and in partnership with numerous Manitoba organizations and groups to recognize and raise awareness of Orange Shirt Day. Together, the organizations will be hosting and posting in an online event to promote awareness of Orange Shirt Day, residential schools and to honour all students of the residential school experience.  

On September 30th, a jointly organized Facebook event will have online mini events posted throughout the day where the organizations will share messages and activities in recognition of Orange Shirt Day. There will also be artwork and songs dedicated to students of residential schools. The group invites all Manitobans to participate through the Facebook Event by sharing photos of themselves wearing their orange shirts and making posts to honour all those who went to residential schools. At 12 pm NOON, there will be a Orange Shirt Day LIVE EVENT featuring Leaders, Knowledge Keepers and Survivors that will be shared on the AMC Facebook page and Orange Shirt Day Manitoba event page.  

The organizations would also like to acknowledge all students and schools across Manitoba who are participating in Orange Shirt Day. All schools are invited to post their pictures and post to the event page. Student artwork from Children of the Earth, Niji Makwa, Morrison School and École Belmont will also be posted on the Orange Shirt Day in Manitoba event page.  


We Are Strong! We Are Survivors!  “Even with all the trauma we received, with the support of the AHWC IRS program we are healing.  We do have a long way to go but we are moving forward.”  –Della Herrera, Executive Director, Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg, Inc.  

“On September 30, AMIK™.ca acknowledges all survivors of Indian Residential School, Day School, Sixties Scoop and their families.  We encourage all our friends and family to participate and show your support by wearing your ORANGE SHIRT along with us. When we acknowledge our past, we can move forward in our future.”  –EJ Fontaine, President & CEO, AMIK™ Inc. 

“Reclaiming Our Cultural Connections; Reigniting Blood Memory” 
“On September 30th, it is important for all Canadians Red~Yellow~Black~White to recognize those children who did not make it home and honour all survivors of Indian Residential Schools, Day Schools, Sixties Scoop and their families of their resiliency and strength. It is through the reclaiming of our cultural connections that reignites our blood memory that heals our spirits, minds and bodies. We are all on a healing path together and we must walk together on this journey, in a kindness and with compassion. By wearing your Orange Day Shirt honourably, shows your support towards healing and reconciliation.”  -Eva Wilson Fontaine, Team Leader, Anish Corporation 

“Orange Shirt Day is an important opportunity for us all to learn about the historical wrongs and generational impacts of the residential school experience. It is an opportunity for us to honour and recognize all of the children who went to residential school, their lives and their worth. We want also support and nurture the healing of students and families. We cannot come together in-person however we are still coming together online. We invite everyone in Manitoba to join us to participate, wear an orange shirt and recognize Orange Shirt Day with us.” – Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs 

“Orange Shirt Day was started by a First Nations woman who was once a little girl in residential school. Her orange shirt that she was so proud to wear to school, was taken from her. Her worth felt like it was stripped away. Today we stand with her and all students of the residential school system recognizing their experiences and traumas. We also affirm their place and importance in our families, communities and in this country. We welcome this opportunity for all of Canada to raise their awareness of the residential school experience and participate in personal acts of reconciliation, this can start by simple acts like participating in Orange Shirt Day.”  – Chief Sheldon Kent, Black River First Nation, Chair of the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba 

“For a time where so much was taken away, we stand on September 30th to show our resilience and honor the survivors and their families. Stand with us!”  #ourhealingourways  –Melanie Kennedy, Executive Director, Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Inc. 

“Draw The Line, End Oppression.”  –Rose Jazmin, Executive Director, The Line  

“On September 30th, we at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre recognize and honour Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools. As Survivors, family members, and community members, we take this day to remember those who did not survive, recognize the healing still taking place, and educate Canadians about these historical injustices.”  – Charles Cochrane, Executive Director, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) 

“Many people still don’t know about residential schools,” said Grand Chief Settee. “I encourage people across the Province of Manitoba as well as our entire country to join me in taking part in Orange Shirt Day. While it’s impactful to see everyone wearing their orange shirts today, I encourage everyone to create an ongoing dialogue on this topic. It’s important that Canadians from all backgrounds, along with newcomers, learn about the impact of residential schools.” – Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak 

“Although this year’s day of remembrance looks different than previous years, the Official Opposition Manitoba NDP Caucus is honoured to support this important day of remembrance for Residential School survivors. I was proud to table the bill that saw Orange Shirt Day become a provincial holiday in 2017, and we continue to work with our Indigenous partners to honour survivors in Manitoba every year.  We wish everyone ‘weweni ayangwaamizig noongom’ – take good care of yourselves today, and stay safe and healthy.  Miigwech.”  – Wab Kinew, Leader of the Official Opposition Manitoba NDP 

“Orange Shirt Day honours the children that were sent to residential schools. New Directions recognizes and respects that Orange Shirt Day is a tribute to the resiliency of Indigenous peoples and honours survivors and those who never made it back home.”  – Dr. Jennifer Frain, CEO, New Directions 
Darlene Daniels, Senior Director of Culture, Training and Education Services, New Directions 

“Wearing the orange shirt in commemoration that we have survived the Indian Residential School era. The color orange is victory that we are resilient people. We are regaining what we have lost, our teachings, our medicines, our culture and our way. We must continue on our healing journey until we have regained the lost.  Its not too late to be what we were meant to be. Let us begin to heal, every child matters!” – Marie Walker, IRS Resolution Health Support Worker, Southeast Resource Development Corporation (SERDC Health) 

On behalf of the Wa-say Healing Centre staff, Board, Survivors and Families that we support, we recognize and acknowledge the Healing from trauma, assimilation and colonization as it continues. It is the strength of our cultures and the resiliency of Our People that allows us to endure and be called Survivors. Individually and collectively as Indigenous Peoples the best Medicine offered is still “Our Healing, Our Ways.” – Wayne Mason, Wa-Say Healing Centre 

Participating organizations, groups and people include: Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre, AMIK Corporation, Anish Corporation, Assembly of First Nations – MB Region, The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, Indigenous Languages Manitoba, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak,  Manitoba NDP Caucus, Mary Jane McCallum, Senator representing Manitoba, Take Pride Winnipeg, Righting Relations – MB Chapter, Southeast Resource Development Corp. (SERDC), The Line and Wa-Say Healing Centre

For PDF of Joint Press Release