Sept. 29, 2023
Orange Shirt Day 2023
DAWN Canada stands in solidarity with Indigenous communities across our nation as we come together to commemorate Orange Shirt Day on September 30th. This significant day serves as a solemn reminder of the enduring legacy of Canada's residential school system and the urgent need for truth, reconciliation and healing.
Orange Shirt Day is a moment for reflection, education and action. It reminds us that the experiences of Indigenous peoples are deeply interconnected with the struggle for human rights and social justice. We acknowledge that the impacts of colonialism, cultural genocide and the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families have left profound scars that continue to affect Indigenous communities, including those living with disabilities.
As a feminist organization committed to the principles of human rights, equality and justice, we recognize the importance of centring the voices and experiences of Indigenous peoples, including those who face additional barriers due to disability. We firmly believe that the path to reconciliation requires collective understanding, empathy and meaningful action.
On this Orange Shirt Day, DAWN Canada pledges to:
- Educate and raise awareness: We will continue to educate ourselves, our members and our community about the history and ongoing effects of the residential school system, as well as the intersectionality of disability within Indigenous communities.
- Amplify Indigenous voices: We will actively seek opportunities to amplify the voices and perspectives of Indigenous individuals and organizations, ensuring that their experiences and insights are at the forefront of our work.
- Advocate for inclusivity: We will advocate for inclusive policies, practices and services that recognize and address the unique needs and challenges faced by Indigenous people living with disabilities.
- Support Indigenous-led initiatives: We will actively support and collaborate with Indigenous-led initiatives that promote truth, healing and reconciliation within our local and national communities.
- Foster solidarity: We will continue to build bridges of solidarity between the disability rights and Indigenous rights movements, acknowledging that our shared struggles for justice are intertwined.
On this Orange Shirt Day, we remember the survivors, the intergenerational survivors and those who never returned home from the residential schools. We also honour the strength, resilience and cultural richness of Indigenous communities. By working together in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, we can build a more just and equitable future for all, where the rights and dignity of every individual, regardless of their background or ability, are upheld and celebrated.
The DAWN Canada Team