Give Back Sundays
Welcome to a new school year, the upcoming harvest moon and the Fall solstice. As we settle into new schedules and routines, I would like to bring back one of our monthly reminders to focus on strengthening our community, both in our neighbourhood and beyond. Our Give Back Sundays is a monthly reminder that fibre arts can be a collective enterprise. There are so many ways to reach out with the medium of fibre and fabric. We have done charity knits, community programs and events, and I carve out the second Sunday of each month to challenge us to collectively think about this together.
With this month being considered for a new national day of recognition I want to share the Tiny Orange Shirt Project that has been quietly growing as a means of reflecting on the history and current legacy of the residential school on our Canadian heritage. Our neighbour, Iron Dog Books has a wonderfully curated selection of indigenous literature and yesterday I found this newly published account of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story on the origins of the Orange Shirt story, and more importantly what it can mean going forward.
Check out the origins of the Orange Day shirt movement here.
The knitters behind the Tiny Orange Shirt Project share their intent in their Facebook page, where you can also find some pattern suggestions if you join:
This group is for people to connect who would like to create or contribute to a display of Tiny Orange Sweaters. The intent of the displays is to communicate to those harmed in Canadian Residential Schools that people are listening and we care. The displays are meant to signify empathy and support. The first one was 215 to represent the graves disclosed in Kamloops.
There will be tiny orange sweaters going up in our shop window. To us, each stitch contains a reflection of our past, the land we walk on, and our impact on the world around us. We each influence our community. We need to take control and responsibility for our impact.
But the world is never out of our influence.
Remembrance, connection, possibility, invention, empathy, insight, correction, care and justice are all up to us.