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Elder Phyllis Webstad at NCTR

Elder Phyllis Webstad at the NCTR.

President Barnard’s message on Orange Shirt Day

September 26, 2019 — 

The following is a message from University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard:

Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30) is a national day of remembrance, honouring Residential School Survivors and their resilience, and remembering the history and legacy of Residential Schools. On Friday, Sept. 27, the University of Manitoba community will wear orange shirts and walk across the Fort Garry campus to recognize this important day.

Elder Phyllis Webstad recently shared her story with the UM community at a Fireside Chat at Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge. She is the Survivor whose new orange shirt was taken away on her first day attending Residential School, an event that would eventually lead to the creation of Orange Shirt Day. Her strength and courage are an inspiration to all.

I encourage the campus community to take part in the Orange Shirt Day event organized by students from the College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The walk begins at the Helen Glass Centre for Nursing and concludes at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which was recently added to the Canada Memory of the World Register by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Our University is committed to and engaged in the process of advancing reconciliation – a journey that is progressing, but far from over. The legacy of Residential Schools remains today. On Sept. 27, walk in solidarity with Survivors, their families and communities experiencing the impact of the atrocities committed in Residential Schools. It is our responsibility – the responsibility of every Canadian – to work together in the spirit of reconciliation to ensure a better future for all.

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