Thursday, September 30th: Orange Shirt Day observed in Juneau. The rebirth of Zuill Bailey’s Bach Cello Suites.

The design, by Miciana Alise Hutchinson, depicts a salmon with a child in its belly, returning home. It’s been incorporated into an orange shirt that will be for sale at the Juneau rallies. Orange Shirt Day gets its name from a Phyllis Webstad, who attended a mission school in British Columbia. Before she left for school, her grandmother bought her an orange shirt that she loved. But upon arrival, the shirt and other clothing were taken away and never returned.

Orange Shirt Day is Thursday, September 30, a day set aside to honor survivors of abuse at government schools for indigenous children. The movement began in Canada and has spread to Alaska.

In Juneau, two events are planned — an early morning rally at Sunny Point and a second gathering in the evening at Sandy Beach in Douglas, followed by a march to the building which now houses Juneau Montessori School. But 80 years ago, it was known as the Mayflower School, run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, exclusively for Alaska Native children.

On this Thursday’s Juneau Afternoon, a look at  how children were treated at the Mayflower school and other residential institutions.

Two Lingít language and culture bearers, X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell and  Xeetlʼi Éesh Lyle James, will share stories of loss but also hope and inspiration.

The sounds of drumming and singing intermingled with the sounds of traffic on the Egan Highway early Thursday morning. About 75 people gathered at the wetlands pull-out to raise awareness about the abuse of indigenous children at government schools.

Part 1. Orange Shirt Day observed in Juneau. Guests: Jamiann Hasselquist, X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell and  Xeetlʼi Éesh Lyle James.

Also in this program:

  • Zuill Bailey talks about recording his Bach Cello Suites the second time around. How new technology, isolation from COVID, and his experiences in Alaska injected new life into the music.
Zuill Bailey performing at in the clan house at the Walter Soboleff building in Juneau (Photo courtesy of Juneau Jazz and Classics).

Part 2.  Zuill Bailey talks about revisiting his Bach Cello Suites.

Rhonda McBride hosted Thursday’s Juneau Afternoon, which airs  Tuesday through Friday at 3:00 p.m. on KTOO Juneau 104.3, online at, and repeated at 4:00 p.m. on KRNN 102.7.

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