Butte College’s Native American Club & Center Commemorates “Orange Shirt Day” with Reflection and Discussion

Orange Shirt Day holds deep historical and cultural significance, serving as a powerful reminder of the impact of residential schools on Indigenous communities.
Frankie Medrano
Orange Shirt Day group photo. September 28, 2023.

Butte College’s Native American Club & Center hosed their annual observance of “Orange Shirt Day” on Thursday, September 28. This event holds deep historical and cultural significance, serving as a powerful reminder of the impact of residential schools on Indigenous communities.

The day’s proceedings began with a group photo, where attendees donned orange shirts—a symbol of unity and support for Indigenous peoples. Following the photo session, a heartfelt and informal discussion about the historical context of “Orange Shirt Day” took place in the Native American Center.

The Native American Club Center, located in Swing Space 102, near the Arts building, organized this observance to provide students, faculty, and staff with an opportunity to learn and reflect on the experiences and struggles faced by Indigenous peoples in residential schools.

“Orange Shirt Day” originated from the compelling story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a survivor of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in British Columbia. On her first day at the school, young Phyllis had her cherished orange shirt taken away from her, representing the countless children who were forcibly separated from their families and subjected to cultural assimilation.

During the informal discussion, attendees delved into the historical significance of “Orange Shirt Day” and its broader implications. Participants engaged in a dialogue about the ongoing journey of Indigenous peoples, promoting a deeper understanding of the obstacles they have faced and continue to overcome.

Butte College’s Native American Club & Center have long been committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for Native American students and their allies. They serve as a hub for cultural exchange, academic support, and community-building.

This observance of “Orange Shirt Day” was part of Butte College’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness and foster a greater understanding of Indigenous culture and history. By carving out a space for reflection and discussion, it aims to create a more empathetic and informed community.

The Native American Club and Center at Butte College encourage all students, faculty, and staff to join this important discussion. By attending the group photo session and engaging in the informal discussion, individuals can contribute to a meaningful dialogue that promotes healing, understanding, and empathy.

Orange Shirt Society

In honor of “Orange Shirt Day,” let us come together as a community to reflect, learn, and show support for the Indigenous resilience that thrives within Butte College.

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