Orange Shirt Day Society president Phyllis Webstad (left) stands with Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (right), Eddy Charlier, back left, Bear Horne, Kristen Spray, Hank Adam and Monique Pat on the steps of the B.C. Legislature building in Victoria to highlight the inter-generational impact of residential schools on children and families by raising awareness of the Orange Shirt Day Campaign. (BC Government photo)

Orange Shirt Society seeks to trademark ‘Every Child Matters’

Unscrupulous sales of Orange Shirt Society owned designs continue

The founder of Orange Shirt Day is disappointed others appear to be making profits on artwork and designs owned by the not-for-profit Orange Shirt Society.

“It’s disheartening and I just have to rely on the morality of people,” executive director Phyllis Webstad said.

Held annually on Sept. 30 since 2013, Webstad’s true childhood story serves as the inspiration of Orange Shirt Day that has grown into a nationwide movement.Her new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken away from her on her first day at St. Joseph Mission near Williams Lake when she was six years old.

Webstad said she is aware of at least four websites that are selling T-shirts with designs the society owns without their permission.

To address that the society hopes to trademark the slogan “Every Child Matter” within the next 12 to 14 months, she said.

“Once we have a trademark then we can issue a trademark letter to cease and desist but until then all we can do is send them an e-mail and ask people to stop.”

Before COVID-19 was declared a public health crisis, Webstad was nearing the completion of the Paths to Reconciliation National Tour to help students learn about the inter-generational impacts of residential schools.

Her last stop at Haida Gwaii was cancelled.

Webstad said sales of shirts and books, as well as donations is supporting the society in remaining operational.

Her newest book, Orange Shirt Day, which tells the story of how Orange Shirt Day started and those involved is anticipated to be released mid-August.

“When I speak I say I didn’t just get out of bed one day and decide Sept. 30 would be Orange Shirt Day,” Webstad said. “There’s a whole line of events and people that are involved, events that happened for it to be what it is and it just happens to be my story.”

Her previous book The Orange Shirt Story has been listed as a finalist in the 2020 Indigenous Voices Awards. Winners will be announced at a virtual gala on June 21 marking National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Barkerville writes a new page in its own history book

Kate Cox is the new CEO of Barkerville Historic Town and Park and Cottonwood House Historic Site

HAPHAZARD HISTORY: Ox team freighters play important role in Cariboo Gold Rush

The Cariboo Wagon Road was to provide a direct and dependable route

North Cariboo Seniors’ Council receives $10,000 from United Way

The funds will help the council provide meals to vulnerable seniors impacted by COVID-19

Regional district issues evacuation order for 9 residences near McBride

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George issued the order on Sunday, July 4

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read