Orange Shirt Society launches national minor hockey campaign to promote reconciliation – Saanich News

The Orange Shirt Society is scoring big with a new national partnership to advance reconciliation efforts in Canada.

The Orange Jersey Project (OJP) will send orange practice jerseys to youth hockey teams across Canada to spark a dialogue about Indian Residential Schools and its intergenerational impact on Indigenous individuals, families and communities.

“The Orange Jersey Project was born from the idea, ‘what if we could use the power of sport to serve as a vehicle to educate today’s young athletes about the history of the residential school system and strengthen the path to Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples,” noted Orange Jersey Project Coordinator Jeremy Boston in a press release. “We look forward to sharing the message and spirit of Every Child Matters through shared love Sport.”

The Orange Jersey Project is a collaboration between the Orange Shirt Society and Keener Jerseys sponsored by Canadian Tire Corporation. The intent of Project Orange Jersey is three-fold – to educate young people about residential schools and their impact on Indigenous peoples; understand the meaning of Truth and Reconciliation; and promote the physical and mental well-being of Aboriginal youth through sport.

Each jersey has a QR code directing players to the Orange Jersey Project learning and sharing portal.

Young people can participate in online educational programs to learn about the Orange Shirt Society and the history of residential schools.

For sports teams interested in getting involved, the Orange Jersey Project has a website ( where sports leaders can register their youth sports team, request orange practice jerseys and access the learning management system. Entries will be placed on a waiting list for the 2022/23 fall season.

Once teams sign up, the Orange Shirt Society encourages them to wear their shirts throughout multiple practices and participate in off-ice team-building activities to keep up with the program.

The Orange Shirt Society works to raise awareness about the intergenerational impact of residential schools and the concept of “every child matters”. Canadian Tire Corporation is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Orange Shirt Society’s Orange Jersey project.

The Orange Shirt Society is a non-profit organization located in Williams Lake, British Columbia. Orange Shirt Day started in 2013 and was founded by Phyllis Webstad. Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwépemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). At the age of six, she did her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission boarding school where her brand new orange shirt was taken away and never returned. Phyllis travels the country sharing her story and raising awareness about the impact of the residential school system. The Orange Shirt Society supports residential school reconciliation and raises awareness of the intergenerational impacts of residential schools on individuals, families and communities.

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Elizabeth J. Harless