Original version. Edited version was published: Hibbert, A. (2020, September 12). Orange Shirt Day at UBC – September 30. Retrieved September 13, 2020, from https://hr.ubc.ca/working-ubc/news/september-09-2020/orange-shirt-day-ubc-september-30
My name is Alicia Hibbert, I have a prairie Metis perspective, and I’m a guest living, working, and resting with gratitude on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), and skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish) peoples. Our team is focused on supporting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing at both the individual and community levels. We believe that wellbeing requires safe, healthy, and supportive environments, including equity and human rights.
One of the ways we can work towards these supportive environments is to learn more about residential schools and their intergenerational impacts – there are many resources available online through UBCs Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre. Many people aren’t aware that the last residential school closed quite recently, in 1996. When you learn about this past in a reflexive way, you will hopefully feel more comfortable exploring your actions, roles and responsibilities, and connectedness to others in future.
I’m writing to encourage you to participate in Orange Shirt Day on September 30th, a day when we wear orange shirts to honour residential school survivors. Phyllis Webstad’s story – having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of residential school – continues to inspire this collective remembering.
Shirts and other items are available to order online from the Orange Shirt Day organization and other Indigenous designers. This is a win-win, because giving back is good for your own wellbeing.
The impacts of residential schools can be emotionally triggering and there are community mental health resources available to those of you in BC:
- Indigenous Mental Health Counselling and Crisis Intervention, 1-855-242-3310
- Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line to support residential school survivors and their families, 1-866-925-4419
- Métis Crisis Line, 1-833-MÉTISBC
- Crisis Centre BC: 1-800.784.2433, crisiscentre.bc.ca
- Vancouver’s Access and Assessment Centre, 604-675-3700 (7:30am – 11pm)
- Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Interior Health: 250.868.7788 (11:30-9pm) or Kelowna General Hospital 250.862.4000
Looking forward to seeing your orange shirts on social media on September 30th!