News & Events

Published by : Sep 01 2023 Posted by : NVIH

Every Child Matters

California Native American Day is on the fourth Friday of every September—a memorable date in the Native American community. We celebrate and honor the rich history, cultural heritage, and cultural contributions of Native American communities. Other states celebrate on different days of the year but California chose the fourth Friday in September. California was the first state to recognize and celebrate Native American Day in 1939, and in 1968, Governor Ronald Regan signed the official resolution that established it forever in our calendars. NVIH stands behind this impactful day in history. Keep an eye out on our social media platforms; we will share a unique recipe and other information to honor this special day. Note that our clinics will be closed in observance of Native American Day on September 22nd.

September 30th is dedicated to “Every Child Matters,” also known as Orange Shirt Day. NVIH stands by this day and our staff will all wear orange shirts on Friday, September 29th to show our support and we encourage everyone to join us. If you are unfamiliar with this day, here is some context. “Every Child Matters” honors the innocent lives lost and symbolizes that every child is important. This includes those that have not only lost their life but also the adults that are still healing from their difficult time at residential board schools. The movement started with a brave soul who shared her story for the first time in 2013. Phillis Websta, a Native American woman, was taken by her grandmother as a young girl from her reservation to attend a residential school for the first time. She remembers that this was very new for her. While nervous, she wore a bright orange shirt on her first day. Her orange shirt was taken from her, and she never saw it again. The excitement of starting something new was replaced by fear and shame. Her innocence and her orange shirt were taken from her. When her story came out, it became very impactful in the Native American community. Many came forth and spoke out about the experiences they had to endure as Children. Physical and emotional abuse, every child matters for those from the past, present, and future on this Day of Reconciliation. 

We will share more content regarding the holidays and days of awareness this month on our social media platforms Instagram and Facebook, stay tuned.  

Inder Wadhwa

CEO, Northern Valley Indian Health