At Anishnabeg Outreach our Orange Shirt Sponsorship Program symbolizes a unified step towards reconciliation and the building of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Launched in 2013, Orange Shirt Day was created to raise awareness and educate individuals about the history of residential schools within Canada, while honouring and remembering the experiences and losses of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children who were taken from their families and placed in these government-issued schools. Wearing an orange shirt and promoting the slogan “Every Child Matters” is an affirmation of our commitment to raise awareness of residential schools and to focus on the hope for a better future. Orange Shirt Day occurs every year in Canada on September 30th, however, AO wants to spread awareness every day through the nature of orange shirt pins. A beaded pin can be worn at any time to symbolize your awareness, understanding, and solidarity with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. They are conversation starters to learn more about the residential school history and reconciliation.
How does The Ao Sponsorship Program Work?
With your minimum $150 sponsorship, AO will provide Indigenous Artists:
- beading kits
- workshops teaching Indigenous peoples the art of beadwork
- mentorship & guidance
This skill set can then be used to bead other items and allow individuals to start their own micro-business. Through AO’s sponsorship program once the orange shirt pins are complete, we will purchase them from the artist to help kickstart their new business. As we expand this program and once we receive enough donations, AO will build and launch our own selling platform to help kickstart many thousands of Indigenous micro-businesses across the country.
Make a minimum donation of $150
- Use the above form to make a minimum donation of $150
- Add your mailing address in the final box and click ‘complete donation now’ so we can send you your thank you gift.
At this point, we will dispatch a beading kit to an Indigenous artist, and they will begin making your orange shirt pin. Once the pin is complete, we will purchase the pin back from the artist and ship it to you as a thank you for your sponsorship. These beading kits and the sponsorship process are a tool for teaching Indigenous peoples to reclaim culture through art. This skill set can then be used to bead other items to grow their business beyond this program.
We’re happy to be providing local Indigenous beadwork to the community through donations to AO. It’s difficult to purchase authentic Indigenous beadwork through larger distributors like Etsy. When you purchase through a large distributor you often don’t know where the item is coming from. This is why we saw the importance of providing Indigenous people the opportunity to create their own beadwork business through an organization where donations will be going back to the local Indigenous community to help them grow their businesses. When you purchase through other distributors you are not aware of where the proceeds are going. However, when donating to Anishnabeg Outreach you are directly contributing to a local outreach centre providing healing services and programs to the Indigenous community.