Posted by John Currie, Executive Director, Honouring Indigenous Peoples (HIP), and President of the Rotary Club of Pickering

Dear fellow Rotarians in District 7070,

Thank you for showing Rotary alignment right across Canada in support of Orange Shirt Day!  Thank you to the many Rotary Clubs that purchased and wore the HIP orange shirt on September 30. This action reinforces the message that “Every Child Matters” while also raising funds that will be split between the Orange Shirt Society and HIP’s Literacy Program.....

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.

Working in partnership with, HIP has launched a literacy program. Funds raised are allocated upon request to Indigenous Education councillors for the purchase and distribution of culturally appropriate and language specific books for Indigenous youth grades K – 12.

Shirts cost $12 each. To order an orange shirts for yourself or your organization, please contact Julie at

Yours In Rotary, With Warm Regards,

John Currie

Executive Director - Honouring Indigenous Peoples (HIP)

Cultural Advisor  - City of Pickering

President - Rotary Club of Pickering


Let’s Stay In Touch!

Mobile: 416.884.0075


Here is the Rotary Club of Pickering  and Rotary HIP ( Honouring Indigenous People ) Orange Shirt Day Commemoration



Whitby Sunrise Rotarians and guests wore their orange shirts today at our morning meeting. This date has been declared Orange Shirt Day in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children's sense of self-esteem and well-being and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters. Orange Shirt Day was founded by Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). When she turned 6 years old, her grandmother managed to pull enough money together to buy her a new outfit to go to the Mission school that included a shiny orange shirt. However, when she arrived at the Mission, they stripped her, and took away her clothes, including the orange shirt!


John Currie, Pickering Rotary Club President and Executive Director of Rotary Honouring Indigenous People, is proud to stand with Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan with the support of the City of Pickering & council for the historic first raising of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation flag which was gifted to the City by Chief Kelly LaRocca. A true step forward for Truth & Reconciliation.


Thank you Mayor Dan Carter of Oshawa and honorary member of the Oshawa Rotary Club. And thank you deputy Mayor Bob Chapman. Orange shirt day . Let us all remember.



Durham College President Don Lovisa and students in the Suswaaning Endaajig - Durham College Aboriginal Student Centre at Durham College Orange Shirt Day is an event that started in 2013. It was designed to educate people and promote awareness about the Indian residential school systems and the impact they had on Indigenous communities for more than a century in Canada and still to this day. Wear an orange shirt, send a picture showing your support to to be featured on their social media platforms



John Andras (Rotary Club of Toronto of Toronto), along with Prince Kumar of the Rotary Club of Toronto (not pictured) and helpers from Robin Hood Army Canada who took time on Orange Shirt Day packing a truck full of boxes of school supplies and personal care products destined for Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay. Indigenous youth attend the school from remote fly-in northern communities and the items are much requested. Here is the story and the photo below: 

Community comes together for a compassionate impact! Thank you all: 10,118 school supplies and hygiene items along with personalized letters of care have been shipped to Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School for our 120 heroes - Indigenous students who are far away from their home in a fly-in-community, to pursue their education. Thankful for this opportunity to serve with the help of our annual partners:

Thanks to John Andras, Rotary HIP, Rotary and Trucks for Change and Gardewine for getting it delivered. The call for contactless delivery was answered by 5 regions - Durham Region, Hamilton, Mississauga-Brampton, Richmond Hill-Markham and Toronto!

Thanks also to Costco Wholesale Canada (backpacks), MNR Distributors Inc. (hygiene items), RC of Toronto Eglinton (school supplies), Robin Hood Academy and Little Robins (letters) and friends, families and colleagues.

Thank you everyone - you have truly made a huge impact!