Message from Paul O'Byrne, Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences

September 30 marks the country’s second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. The orange shirt is worn as a remembrance of the story of residential school survivor, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad. The six-year-old had her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of residential school.

By wearing an orange shirt, we acknowledge the need for meaningful reconciliation, honour those who have been impacted by Canada’s residential school system and affirm that every child matters. We have an important role to play in remembering these stories and working towards reconciliation to create a more open and just society.

Several events are taking place across McMaster in commemoration of Orange Shirt Day. See them here, as well as guidance for faculty, staff and learners who wish to take time to reflect, listen and learn. These events are an opportunity to honour the children and families who either lost their lives or were negatively impacted by the residential school experience.

I hope you will join me on Sept. 30 to take time to reflect and learn about the history of residential schools, honour the victims and recognize the ongoing and tragic legacy of these schools.

In advance, I invite you to join this event connected to our Faculty:

The Indigenous Health Learning Lodge Welcome Gathering event will be attended by McMaster Chancellor Santee Smith (who is also speaking at the event below) and will feature an interpretive dance performance directed by JP Longboat of Circadia Indigena.

Details: Friday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. at the LR Wilson theatre

More information, including registration, can be found at this link IHLL Welcome Gathering.

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