National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day
takes place on September 30
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of residential schools’ individual, family, and community inter-generational impacts and promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt symbolizes the stripping away of culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
It honours the children who survived residential schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It now symbolizes the stripping away of culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
On September 30, we encourage all Canadians to wear orange to raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools and honour the thousands of survivors.