Phyllis's Orange Shirt
Phyllis Webstad, illustrated by Brock Nicol
Phyllis's Orange Shirt is an adaptaion of The Orange Shirt Story. This true story also inspired the movement of Orange Shirt Day which could become a federal statuatory holiday. When Phyllis was a little girl she was excited to go to residential school for the first time. Her Granny bought her a bright orange shirt that she loved and she wore it to school for her first day. When she arrived at school her bright orange shirt was taken away.
This is both Phyllis Webstad's true story and the story behind Orange Shirt Day, which is a day for all Canadians to reflect upon the treatment of First Nations people and the message that 'Every Child Matters'. (From Medicine Wheel Education)
"In July of 1973, my grandmother brought me to town to buy something to wear. I chose a shiny orange shirt. Just like any other six-year-old, I was happy to be going to school — I didn't know exactly what was to come.
"When I got to the residential school, it was pee-your-pants terror to be there, to realize that I wasn't going home. My shirt was taken away. No matter what I did, they wouldn't give it back. I never got to wear my shirt again.
Just like any other six-year-old, I was happy to be going to school — I didn't know exactly what was to come.
"It was a full school year that I was there. We could cry and cry — and no one would tend to us. There was no one hugging us.
"There was no one telling us that it would be OK. We were just there and fed. No one to tend to our emotions or to our fears or to anything."
Interviews with Phyllis Webstad
More about Orange Shirt Day
Other books by Phyllis Webstad