A new book from the Executive Director and Founder of the Orange Shirt Society will be available September first.
Phyllis Webstad said in a Facebook post that “Beyond The Orange Shirt Story” is a collection of stories from six generations of her family to give more context and personal stories of the Residential School experience.
“It’s for grade five classes,” Webstad said about the book, “When I go into schools to teach, my first two books are for the younger children, and when I go into the older classes, like grade 5, they have more questions then my experience can answer. I don’t have personal stories to share with the older students so I thought if I had a book with a compilation of stories from my family that would answer some of those questions.”
Webstad said work on the book began a couple of years ago but had to be put on hold.
“We started in 2018, we had to set it aside though for a year or so because we worked on Orange Shirt Day, we had to get that book out because things were happening across Canada that the book needed to be out there so that people would know that the Orange Shirt Society was here, and that I was still here, and that we were watching what was going on across Canada. So we took it up again and we’re just finalizing the pictures right now and it comes out September first.”
Webstad said proceeds from the book will go towards a trip she plans to take with her family to Niagara Falls next year for a special Orange Shirt Day Ceremony on both sides of the falls that have taken place over the last couple of years.
“They turn orange for 15 minutes on Orange Shirt Day on September 30th, so for every one minute is to remember and honor ten thousand children that attended Residential Schools, in total 150 thousand children across Canada attended Residential Schools.”
Webstad added on that day and during the time the falls are orange, she will request people attending to say out loud the names of the survivors whether they’re alive or have passed.