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Something Wonderful Studios

"They Found Us" Orange T-Shirts

"They Found Us" Orange T-Shirts

Regular price $36.10 CAD
Regular price Sale price $36.10 CAD
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Orange Shirt Day serves as a poignant symbol commemorating the lives lost and survivors of residential schools. Delving into extensive personal research, I sought to understand the rationale behind the choice of orange and its associated story. The narrative of "Phyllis Jack," a 6-year-old girl heading to a residential school in British Columbia cherished her orange shirt, a gift from her grandmother, was confiscated along with her other belongings upon arrival.

Empathizing with the anticipation of wearing new school attire, I imagined the disappointment of having it all discarded. This mirrors a fraction of the impact residential schools had on our lives. The motivation behind my work stemmed from interactions at vendor events, where some expressed reluctance due to the belief that orange was not their color. Recognizing this, I incorporated a diverse color palette beyond orange, fostering a sense of uniqueness and inclusivity in supporting the movement.

In conveying the message "every child matters," I aimed to visually represent indigenous children with the statement "They Found Us." This phrase speaks for those lost in the residential school system, emphasizing the unrealized potential taken away at a young age. Wearing this shirt unveils the identity of a child denied opportunities, serving as a somber reminder of the harsh reality.

Reflecting on a presentation about resilience at an elementary school, I realized the challenges of embodying resilience. Despite the hardships and historical attempts to eradicate our race, indigenous people endure, rebuild, and revitalize their identity and language. The shirt symbolizes indigenous resilience, a testament to our enduring existence.

Wear this garment as a tribute to the resilience inherent in every indigenous individual—proof that we persist and thrive. I strive to intertwine the past and present, merging spirituality and reality in my designs. Encouraging everyone, indigenous or not, to seek knowledge fosters a better understanding of the cause and promotes unity.

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