In our NT-NL Synod, ELCA Leader News this past week we featured this letter from the ELCA American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association inviting our congregations to recognize and honor the recent discovery of mass graves at multiple residential schools. They write…
“The color orange is symbolic and came from the inspiration of a survivor of that era, Phyllis Webstad, who stated 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 gifted her and was never given back. The orange shirt/color now symbolizes how the church and the schools they administered took away the Indigenous identity of the children in their care.
In honor and memory of the children of the First Nations people and of our Native 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. In remembrance and lament of each child that was thrown into those graves, and those yet to be discovered we honor each of their lives.” The full letter can be found here…https://www.ntnl.org/…/08/Remembering-the-Children.pdf
In response Holy Trinity Lutheran Church ELCA, Shreveport has placed the pictured banner outside their building so that others might see it as well. Thank you Interim Pastor Joan Iker for your leadership and sharing this photo. For more information about the church’s involvement in residential schools you can read https://boardingschoolhealing.org/healing/for-churches/ #NTNL #InMissionTogether