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From Unifor, Sept. 22

Unifor welcomes the establishment of September 30 as a national statutory holiday to recognize the widespread abuse at residential schools, honour survivors, and work for reconciliation.

September 30 has been known as Orange Shirt Day since 2013. It is named after the clothing taken from Phyllis (Jack) Webstad when she was six years old on her first day at residential school.

The day’s slogan “Every Child Matters” is a plea to value and care for all children, something that was not the standard held by the churches administering residential schools, nor the Government of Canada, which is still in court fighting equal funding for on-reserve children.

Unifor members have long organized for justice on Orange Shirt Day. Efforts have only increased since the remains of missing children were discovered on the site of a former residential school near Kamloops B.C. followed by the uncovering of more bodies at former schools across Canada.

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