Truth and Reconciliation is not only the work of governments and communities but it is the work of all of us as Canadians. It is about having the courage to challenge the status quo, and to re-envision education and the type of society we share. Ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) on September 30, BCIT invites all Canadians to take part in the We Will Always Remember campaign to engage in meaningful remembrance of the impact of residential school and using this opportunity to commit to action.
What is the We Will Always Remember campaign
The We Will Always Remember campaign was launched in 2022 by BCIT Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships in honour and remembrance of the students that attended residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Throughout the month of September, and beyond, the community is invited visit the We Will Always Remember site to learn how to create an orange shirt, learn more about Truth and Reconciliation, commit to an action, as well as share your shirt, learning, and action with a friend, colleague, or using the hashtag #WeWillAlwaysRemember. The process is more than creating an orange shirt. It is about education, dialogue, reflection, and commitment to action. By doing so, we deepen our understanding of the past and, more importantly, recommit ourselves to the ongoing journey of Reconciliation while honouring the healing journey of the survivors and their families.
Taking part in We Will Always Remember
Everyone is encouraged to host their own We Will Always Remember shirt-making event with friends, family, colleagues, or community by watching the step-by-step instructions outlined in the We Will Always Remember video tutorial. Display the shirt in your office, classroom, windows, or on social media when you are done – it is an ongoing visual representation and reminder of children that attended residential schools.
“There is no one way or right way to create an orange shirt, explains Kory Wilson, Executive Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, BCIT. “The purpose of the We Will Always Remember campaign is to allow people to create with their hands, while learning and sharing stories.”
Kory adds, “We truly want Canadians to focus on the action they will commit to by writing it on the back of their orange shirt – whether it’s something from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action or using the resources available on the BCIT Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships website.”
“I have folded over 6,000 shirts to-date and invite you and your community to join me on this journey as well.”
Members of the BCIT community will fold, draw, colour, cut, sew orange shirts, and place them across its five campuses. BCIT will also host a We Will Always Remember event for students, faculty, and staff in coming together to create orange shirts, learn about residential schools and the contemporary reality of Indigenous people, engage in meaningful dialogue, and commit to action.
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- Indigenous Awareness – A free and online course that promotes an increased understanding of Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present.
- Orange Shirt Society – Get resources and learn more about Orange Shirt Day.
- 94 Calls to Action – Learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action
- What can I do to advance reconciliation – Learn what you can do to advance reconciliation – as an individual, family, employee, or employer.