For immediate release
September 30, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is acknowledging Orange Shirt Day as a somber and important day to remember the survivors of the residential school system.
“Orange Shirt Day is an important day for everyone in Canada. We should all take a moment to remember both those who survived residential schools and those who sadly perished as a result of attending those schools,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “My grandmother attended residential school and I know the impacts it had on our family firsthand. I am proud of my grandmother for surviving 10 years in a residential school. For others who have a survivor in their family, I encourage you to recognize them for what they experienced, they are heroes.”
The residential school system was created to assimilate First Nations, Inuit, and Metis students into the dominant culture of a colonized Canada. Many students experienced horrific abuse and were punished for speaking their Indigenous languages. Young children were separated from their families and communities to attend residential schools across the country.
“Today we wear orange as a symbol of our remembrance of these young people,” stated Grand Chief Settee. “Let us not forget what happened to young Indigenous peoples across Canada. This is why we are working to overhaul the child welfare system and return children to our First Nations and their cultures. We still have a lot of work to do to heal from the inter-generational effects of the residential school system. We are strong people and we will continue to heal and build a brighter future for the generations of Indigenous children to come.”