In an effort to promote healing and reconciliation, Canadians are wearing bright orange shirts on #OrangeShirtDay.
In support of residential school survivors, coming together in the spirit of reconciliation: wear orange today. #orangeshirtday— Olivia Chow (@oliviachow) September 30, 2015
Today we wear orange to honour and remember all the children who were forced out of their homes and into residential schools #orangeshirtday— Chloe (@_chloe06_) September 30, 2015
People showed off their bold wardrobes via Twitter to encourage others to do the same.
Vanessa McKay, a student at St. James Collegiate, is just one of many pupils at schools across the country who have banded together to raise awareness by wearing orange. She told CBC News about her family's history.
"I don't know my full culture, I don't know my native language. It was something that was stopped with my great-grandmother," she explained.
"I would come home and talk to my parents about it and details would slowly come out over time," McKay continued. "It's not really something that's brought up at family dinners."
But it should. This is something that needs to be discussed, and Twitter users have urged parents to educate their children about the forced enrollment and its goal of removing the children from their culture and families in order to assimilate them into the predominant Canadian culture at the time.
My 6 year old just learned a bit about residential schools -the first of many conversations. Tomorrow is #OrangeShirtDay— Rola Fraser (@RolaFraser) September 29, 2015
The day also serves as a reminder about why it's so important to remember the devastation caused by forcing people of other cultures to assimilate.
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