Overview

On September 30, people in Canada recognize Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange to acknowledge the legacy of residential schools, honour the survivors and their families, and promote reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

How did Orange Shirt Day begin?

Orange Shirt Day began in British Columbia in 2013 when a residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, shared her story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day at a residential school. Since then, Orange Shirt Day has become an opportunity for First Nations, Métis and Inuit, governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation.

For more information on Indian residential schools and the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation work on Indian residential schools, read the Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (PDF, 14 MB).

Participation

Wear an orange shirt on September 30. Other suggested activities include:

  • sharing a selfie on Facebook
  • organizing an online or in-person event following Alberta Health guidelines
  • reading about the legacy of residential schools
  • reading the summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • finding and watching films online about people’s experiences at residential schools
  • learning about Indigenous cultures