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It's Orange-Shirt Day Thursday Thursday will be the first time we celebrate Canada's newest federal stat holiday, The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, on September 30. The day honoring the lost children and survivors of Canada's Catholic residential school system began in 2013 as “Orange Shirt Day”, an indigenous-led grass roots movement. Residential school survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad shared her story of arriving at St. Joseph Mission residential school (near Williams Lake, BC) at six years old and being stripped of her clothes, never to see the new orange shirt her grandmother bought her again. The shirt came to symbolize how the residential schools stole the indigenous identities of those children. We know with the recent discovery of massive unmarked graves that the horror went much deeper than previously thought. From an estimated 10,000 children, there are estimated to be over 3000 unmarked graves directly resulting from the Residential School System. Trying to wrap our brains around the tragedy, the problem that comes with stating large number of deaths is we become numb to the 3000 individuals who died. Each of those 3000 kids had a story, a favorite food, an infectious laugh, they were the absolute light of someone's life. But like victims of terror attacks, wars or mass-murder, our minds turn all those who suffered into a faceless amorphous group of “victims”. When we employ empathy in a quest to understand someones pain, the grouping of suffering actually minimizes the pain we feel for the group versus one single death. We can’t help it. I think if you could somehow know just one person's story from their point of view, the suffering day in and day out and the torture these kids endured, it would be more than most of us could take. To extrapolate that pain times 3000, impossible to imagine! The crimes against these children included violent mental, physical and sexual abuse. The victims of the residential schools extends so far beyond those taken, to the families and communities that continue to suffer the effects. Most of us can only imagine the pain of loss of having your kids taken away by force. Children who laughed and loved and cherished their families were taken away to strange places where they had no contact with family and were stripped of their culture and tortured and told their families didn't want them anymore. That should be enough to get everyone's support for the cause of remembrance. "Every Child Matters". On September 30, wear your orange shirt to show your support. In This Issue... Extra Puzzles! Years Gone By! . . . . . .