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'It's important to me': Why Manitobans are encouraged to wear orange shirts on Saturday

This Saturday is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation– a day to honour survivors of residential schools and those who never returned home, as well as their families and communities.

As part of this commemorative day, everyone is encouraged to wear an orange shirt as a way to raise awareness of the intergenerational impacts of residential schools and to promote the idea of ‘Every Child Matters.’

Michelle Cameron, founder and CEO of Dream Catcher Promotions and Indigenous Nations Apparel Co. (INAC), said the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day for reflection and awareness.

“When I see somebody wearing an orange shirt, it means that they’ve heard our story or they’ve heard about the day and what it means to us as Indigenous people,” she said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Tuesday.

“I think it’s a day to think about our history and what has happened in Canada.”

For Cameron, to see people wearing orange shirts on Saturday will represent the fact that awareness is being spread about the history of residential schools.

“When I see people wearing an orange shirt, it’s important to me and it’s important to my mother. My mother was a residential school survivor,” she said.

Cameron added it’s also important to support Indigenous companies when purchasing an orange shirt, as it’s a way to help residential school survivors and their families.

“We do it for a cause. We do it because it means something to us,” she said.

INAC’s design for its 2023 Truth and Reconciliation orange t-shirt features a handshake with flowers and vines inside of it, and displays the words: “Every Child Matters” and “Truth and Reconciliation.”

The handshake represents the agreements that have been made, while the vines symbolize the bonds that hold us to these agreements. The flowers are signs of new beginnings and growth.

The shirts can be purchased at the INAC store at CF Polo Park, as well as online.

- With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagace. Top Stories

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