From Pastor Anne:
Orange Shirt Day is every September 30th. Please wear an orange shirt for worship on Sunday September 26th either in person or on Zoom.
Redwing Eagle of Tamaya, who was a student at the Albuquerque Indian School, has made an orange banner for our church which we will hang on that day.
There is a lot of information about Residential Schools at The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and ORANGE SHIRT DAY: Every Child Matters. There is more about the Albuquerque Indian School at Uncovering New Mexico’s Indian Boarding School History – The Paper. (abq.news)
Between 1869 and the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of Native American children were removed from their homes and families and placed in boarding schools operated by the federal government and the churches.
In July 2021, ELCA congregations received a request from the American Indian Alaska Native Lutheran Association to remember the children whose unmarked graves are being identified at Residential Schools in the USA and Canada.
In part the letter read:
“The color orange is symbolic. It was the inspiration of a survivor of that era, Phyllis Webstad, who said that when she was a 6-year-old girl arriving at a residential boarding school, she was stripped of her clothes which included a new orange t-shirt her grandmother had just given her. None of her possessions were ever returned. The orange shirt/color now symbolizes how the churches and the schools they administered took away the Indigenous identity of the children in their care.
“In honor and memory of the children who never made it home, and for those still living the nightmare imposed on them as children of Canada and the United States, we humbly ask our brothers and sisters of the church to hang an orange banner in the sanctuaries of your churches for 225 days. . . We call upon the churches serving in the United States to urge the U.S. Government to fully acknowledge all the atrocities it has committed against the indigenous peoples of this land, and to advocate for the future of Christianity in Indian Country.”