For the month of June, we continue to acknowledge important causes and events including National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st.
This year, in Canada, National Indigenous History Month is dedicated to the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of residential schools. At a time when the remains of hundreds of children have recently been discovered on the grounds of residential schools, it is a painful reminder that we have much work to do around education, truth and reconciliation for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People.
Although Orange Shirt Day falls on September 30th, wearing an orange shirt on June 21st can acknowledge support for Indigenous People. The Orange Shirt Society is a non-profit organization with its home in Williams Lake, BC where Orange Shirt Day began in 2013. One of the purposes of the Society is to create awareness of the concept that “Every Child Matters”. The significance of the orange shirt is based on the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad On her first day at residential school at the age of six, Phyllis had her clothes taken away including a treasured orange shirt, given to her by her grandmother. Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis to educate people about residential schools and to fight racism and bullying.
Gord Downie, was the lead singer and songwriter for the Tragically Hip, an iconic Canadian musical group. In the last few years of Gord’s life, he made a meaningful impact on Canadians with his work elevating Indigenous issues, particularly, awareness of residential schools and reconciliation. The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund is part of Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of his family, to improving lives of First Peoples in Canada. In collaboration with the Wenjack Family, the goal of the Fund is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to aid our collective reconciliation journey through a combination of awareness, education, and action.
“A reconciliACTION is a meaningful action that moves reconciliation forward. ReconciliACTIONs aim to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in the spirit of reconciliation to create awareness, share, and learn. It is the answer to Gord’s call to ‘Do Something’; do something to raise further awareness, do something that improves the lives of Indigenous people, do something that improves the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. ReconciliACTIONs act as the catalyst for important conversations and meaningful change, recognizing that change starts with every one of us and each person can make an impact.” – Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
“The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him – as we find out about ourselves, about all of us – but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, Canada”– Gord Downie
We continue our pursuit to learn about and share the power of diversity and encourage others to discover additional resources and ways to give back or get involved within their own community.
In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, Paper Label will be donating partial proceeds from our June sales to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund on behalf of our customers.