Friday, September 30th is both Orange Shirt Day and the second annual National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday.
Established in 2013, Orange Shirt Day was inspired by Phyllis Webstad, who was excited to wear her new orange shirt to her first day of school in 1973. However, when she arrived at St. Joseph Mission Residential School, her shirt was taken and never returned. From that day forward, the colour orange, for Phyllis, “reminded me of that [moment] and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”
Now, on this day, we recognize the legacy of the residential school system for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities.
We acknowledge the legacy of residential schools in Canada by wearing orange and we honour the survivors. We remember the children who were buried in unmarked graves.
On Friday, September 30, 2022 wear orange to participate in Orange Shirt Day.
Follow @UIEC_tdsb and @tdsb on Twitter and use the hashtag #OrangeShirtDay to see how students and staff from across the Toronto District School Board recognize Orange Shirt Day.
For classroom resources, check out the Orange Shirt Day Resource Package created by the UIEC.
For more information, visit the Urban Indigenous Education Centre website. To learn more about Phyllis’ story and Orange Shirt Day visit http://www.orangeshirtday.org
Check out Orange Shirt Day 2022 poster and the poster for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.