The syllabics and language are Ojibwe. They mean "Every Child Matters". Phonetically, it says "gichi-apiitendaagoziwag akina abinoonjiiyag".
Every Child Matters is repeated 94 times on the shirt and in six columns. This represents the 94 Calls to Action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to the Government of Canada in 2015 following an extensive seven years of research and testimony from Indigenous voices across Turtle Island.
The 94 Calls to Action widely range widely - from protecting child welfare, to promoting the use of Indigenous languages, to improving health conditions in Indigenous communities, to adopting worldwide standards for treatment of Indigenous peoples, to commemorating survivors and victims of the residential school system and other atrocities, to increasing economic utilization of Indigenous business in supply chains, to recognizing and celebrating Indigenous athletes and, to educating newcomers to Canada on the history of its Indigenous people.
All Indigenous peoples of Canada have been affected in some way by the effects of colonization and crimes against our ancestors and ourselves. For many, the outpouring of support as past atrocities have come to light has been a meaningful step toward reconciliation. However, the journey is only beginning. The government must be held accountable to continue the healing that is sought by the 94 Calls to Action. The list of Calls to Action and the Government of Canada's progress can be tracked here: Delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we wear orange to honour lost children and survivors of residential schools. But we also ask that you carry the values of Truth and Reconciliation throughout the year. Progress will be made only through meaningful change. Remember that Every Child Matters, including the next seven generations.