Orange Shirts at SMH

Orange Shirts at SMH

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SMH Frontline Staff started this petition to Surrey Memorial Hospital and Aramark

This letter was written on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples; specifically that of the Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt, W̱SÁNEĆ, and S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) nations.

Dear Michelle Lane (Executive Director of Surrey Memorial Hospital) and Aramark,

It has come to our attention that one of our SMH frontline staff was told that she could not wear an orange shirt to work on May 31st in memory and acknowledgement of the 215 previously unreported Indigenous children who’s bodies were found buried at the Kamloops Residential School over the weekend.  While this may not have been the intention, by not allowing a particular staff member to wear an orange shirt on a day when across Canada people are being encouraged to do exactly that contributes to the ongoing silencing of Indigenous voices.

While we acknowledge that we are in the middle of a pandemic, which SMH is at the epicenter of for BC, and that this has resulted in tighter infection prevention measures, exceptions to the Aramark uniform are appropriately made for other religious or cultural reasons such as hijabs and turbans.  Many staff at SMH wore white shirts on March 11th to acknowledge those who died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the healthcare workers who continue to work through the pandemic; to our knowledge none of them were asked to change.

We are calling on SMH and Aramark to issue public apologies for this incident as well to identify specific commitments to being an active part of the provincial and national reconciliation.

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