In “The Orange Shirt Story”, Phyllis Webstad brings attention to and stresses the importance of making the experiences of residential school survivors known. With the courage and vulnerability to share her story, Phyllis affords the reader a glimpse into many facets of her experience in residential schools. This story is accessible to, and a valuable classroom compliment for students of all ages. This story reads as it would be told orally, which allows space for discussion. In addition, the book includes a comprehensive history of both Phyllis’s home community and the residential school that she attended. This information component outlines important geographical information to compliment the details of the story and provides facts about the residential school Phyllis attended. The central message of Phyllis’s story is to stress that “every child matters”. Since September 30th, 2013, Canadians have worn orange in solidarity and honour of residential schools survivors. Phyllis’s story has provided a tangible platform for all Canadians to begin conversations, and healing around the experiences of residential schools, a positive step toward reconciliation in Canada.
By: Phyllis Webstad