The Orange Shirt Society is scoring big with a new national partnership to further reconciliation efforts in Canada.
The Orange Jersey Project (OJP) will send orange practice jerseys to youth hockey teams across Canada to spark dialogue about residential schools and its intergenerational impacts on Indigenous individuals, families and communities.
“The Orange Jersey Project was born from the idea, ‘what if we could use the power of sport to serve as a vehicle toward educating today’s young athletes about the history of the residential school system and strengthen the path toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples’,” Jeremy Boston, coordinator of the Orange Jersey Project, noted in a news release. “We look forward to sharing the message and spirit of Every Child Matters through the shared love of sports.”
The Orange Jersey Project is a collaboration between the Orange Shirt Society and Keener Jerseys sponsored by Canadian Tire Corporation. The intention of the Orange Jersey Project is threefold –to educate youth about residential schools and how they impacted Indigenous Peoples; to understand the meaning of Truth and Reconciliation; and to promote physical and mental wellness of Indigenous youth through sport.
Each jersey has a QR code directing players to the Orange Jersey Project learning and sharing portal.
Youth can participate in online educational programming to learn more about the Orange Shirt Society and the history of residential schools.
For sports teams that want to become involved in the initiative, the Orange Jersey Project has a website (https://orangejerseyproject.ca/) for sports facilitators to register their youth sports team, request orange practice jerseys and access the learning management system. Registrations will be placed on a waitlist for the fall 2022/23 season.
Once teams have registered, the Orange Shirt Society encourages them to wear their jerseys throughout several practises and participate in off-the-ice team-building activities to work through the curriculum.
The Orange Shirt Society works to create awareness of the intergenerational impacts of residential schools and the concept of ‘Every Child Matters’. Canadian Tire Corporation is proud to be the premier sponsor of the Orange Shirt Society’s Orange Jersey Project.
The Orange Shirt Society is a non-profit organization located in Williams Lake, B.C. Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 and was founded by Phyllis Webstad. Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwépemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). At six years old, she attended her first day of school at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School where her brand new orange shirt was taken away and never returned. Phyllis tours the country sharing her story and raising awareness about the impacts of the residential school system. The Orange Shirt Society supports Indian Residential School Reconciliation and creates awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational impacts of residential schools.
For more information, please visit: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/orange-shirt-society.html