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Content Advisory & Support

The resource below includes mention and discussion around residential schools, and other potentially sensitive and traumatic subject matters. Please take care and consider your capacity for engaging in this information.

If you are in need of support services, please see the following: 

In May 2013, the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself. The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of this project. As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.

Learn more about Orange Shirt Day and the Orange Shirt Society here.

Watch Recognizing Orange Shirt Day: A path to healing and reconciliation to hear from Elder-in-Residence and Residential School Survivor, Nk'xetko as she speaks about the impact of residential schools and sings The Crane Song, as well as from Musqueam Community Elder and Residential School Survivor, Meyaltxn who reads Imagine.

Show your support by wearing an Orange Shirt. Don't yet have a shirt? Do Your Research: Before you purchase an Orange Shirt, please take care to ensure you’re buying from Indigenous-owned businesses.

To learn more about truth and reconciliation, please see our General Resources page.