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Honouring residential school survivors on Orange Shirt Day

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Pictured above: Kugluktuk Northern Store staff with the Dreamcatcher Every Child Matters orange T-shirts.

The North West Company honours Orange Shirt Day and stands among those  paying tribute to residential school survivors.

Orange Shirt Day is September 30 and symbolizes the experience of residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, who had her shiny new orange shirt taken from her on her first day at a residential school when she was six years old, and replaced with the school’s institutional uniform. On this day, people wear an orange t-shirt to honour the children who survived the residential schools and to remember those who did not make it home.

This year, The North West Company partnered up with Dreamcatcher Promotions, a 100% Indigenous owned and operated promotions and apparel business located in Winnipeg, MB, to launch an Orange Shirt Day Initiative, which made orange ‘Every Child Matters’ t-shirts available in Northern and NorthMart stores throughout northern communities across Canada.

All proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts will be donated to the Orange Shirt Society – along with a matching fund donation by North West, to support efforts to raise awareness of the concept of ‘Every Child Matters’ while supporting residential school survivors and their families on their healing journey.

“It is so great to partner with The North West Company on this initiative,” said Michelle Cameron, owner of Dreamcatcher Promotions. “As an Indigenous business owner, it has been an honour to supply ‘Every Child Matters’ shirts to individuals from coast to coast as they pause and reflect on the legacy of residential schools. Having our shirts in Northern and NorthMart stores is going to help even more people participate this year.”

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Pictured above: Orange “Every Child Matters” T-shirts were placed in the windows of The North West Company headquarters to show support and to stand among those honouring residential school survivors.

Starting this year, September 30 has been also designated a federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. North West recognized this day and hosted a presentation by a residential school survivor to encourage staff to reflect and create a meaningful dialogue towards advancing reconciliation efforts. In addition, orange t-shirts were placed in the windows of the company’s headquarters in Winnipeg, MB.

“This is a time for honest conversations and deep reflection,” said Dan McConnell, President & CEO of The North West Company. “On September 30th, North West stands among those honouring residential school survivors, those who did not come home and all harmed by this dark chapter in our shared history.”