Chapter 6 – Audio Script

Hey, I notice you’re wearing an orange shirt. I’ve seen lots of people wearing orange today. What’s the deal?

Oh, it’s for the National day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Truth and what?!

Truth and Reconciliation. It’s hard to say, so many people call it Orange Shirt Day. It’s today — September 30th.

Why haven’t I heard of this before?  

It’s new in Canada. It just became a holiday in 2021.

So, if it’s a holiday, why do I have to go to school today?

Well, not everyone gets the day off. Government offices and banks are closed, but most businesses and schools in Ontario are open.

Hmm, I see.

Ok, so what is this holiday about? 

It’s a day to honour Indigenous people in Canada.

Oh, you mean the first people who lived on this land, right? The first nations people.

That’s right. Today we have an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous culture and history.

Why are orange shirts special for Indigenous people? 

Well, it is special for ONE Indigenous person. Her name is Phyllis Webstad. She is a residential school survivor. When she was 6 years old, she attended a residential school in Canada.

Wait – residential school? What do you mean?

It’s a school where children live. Sometimes it’s far from home, so the children sleep, eat, and learn there.

You said she went when she was 6 years old. Was she nervous about leaving her family? 

Well, yes, but she was also excited.  Her grandmother wanted to buy something special for Phyllis to wear to school on her first day. So they went to the store and bought a new orange shirt. Phyllis loved her new shirt.

I also like to buy new clothes for the first day of school. 

Yes, me too. But, when Phyllis got to school, guess what happened…. They took away her new shirt, and she never saw it again.

What!? Why?

At residential schools, they wanted everyone to be the same. They wore the same clothes, they had the same hair cut, they spoke the same language.

Oh dear. How did Phyllis feel? 

She felt afraid and sad. That orange shirt represented her home, and they took it away.

Residentials schools don’t sound like a happy place.

It’s true. Many people have sad stories from their time at residential school. They remember feeling unloved and unsafe.

So, the orange shirt reminds us about Phyllis’ experience.

Yes, and it helps us to remember this sad part of Canada’s history.

So we don’t repeat it, right?

Right. It’s important to learn from the mistakes of the past so we don’t repeat them.

I agree. Well, I think I’m going to buy an orange shirt and wear it on September 30th from now on.

And keep learning about how we can help Canada correct its mistakes.


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Listening Strategies for Success Copyright © 2022 by Larissa Conley and Sarah Darling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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