Orange Shirt Day
Contributions from Nicole Bell, Bobby Henry, Rich McPherson & Durham DSB
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of the account of a young girl, Phyllis, having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission. This has provided us with an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for the continued creation of a safe, equitable and inclusive school environment as the school year begins. Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. On this day, we wear orange to remember the experiences of former students of Residential Schools and to commit to ongoing reconciliation.
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Revised September 2022
Truth and Reconciliation Education Package
Published by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, in collaboration with Canada’s History Society.