Instead of wearing red and white, many Canadians have opted for buying orange shirts ahead of Canada Day in order to honour Indigenous children sent to residential schools. Many entrepreneurs saw a huge increase in demand for orange shirts. As more and more people are pushing for Holiday cancellation, orange shirts have become more and more popular.
Michelle Cameron, who owns Dreamcatcher Promotions, said that there have been hundreds of orders for orange shirts ahead of Canada day.
“It’s nice to see that there’s a lot of demand for them and it’s really empowering to see everyone’s taking part in recognizing that this is a big piece to reconciliation.”
Cameron’s mother, aunts and uncles are residential school survivors. She understands the horror that her family has endured in the past:
“That’s all we wanted all these years is for people to know what has happened, that this is a part of history in Canada. And to wear an orange shirt, it means they understand and they heard our story.”
Blanche Chief, an Oji-Cree woman from Fisher River Cree Nation, created two orange T-shirts. One shirt says “No Pride in Genocide” and another says “Every Child Matters” in bold, black letters.
“I really didn’t think that it would take off as much as it has, but I’m very fortunate and really glad to see that it has, especially because a lot of them have been non-indigenous people who are buying the T-shirt,” she said.
“So that really, you know, shows that they are ready to listen to Indigenous people and their stories and to acknowledge what’s going on in the world today.”
The northern Manitoba communities of Churchill and Thompson and Shamattawa First Nation have cancelled their Canada Day events while the Manitoba Museum will not hold a Canada Day celebration.