Date: Sep 30, 2020
Time: 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

orange shirt

Orange Shirt Day is on September 30. This day is an opportunity for all to participate in meaningful conversations about the atrocities of Residential Schools and their impacts on Indigenous peoples lives today. 

We encourage all to participate in Orange Shirt Day. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Wear an orange shirt on September 30. Tag @langaracollege and #orangeshirtday2020 to be featured on social alongside other community members
  • Sign up for the Sugar Falls Student Bookclub. Only 15 spaces are available for the Bookclub so register early to secure your spot. The Bookclub starts on October 7 and is open to all Langara students.
  • Attend a talking circle guided by Elder-in-Residence Nk'xetko. 

We understand that Orange Shirt Day is an emotional day for our Indigenous Students. We want to remind you that we are here to support you should you need to speak to a Counselor at any time. As the content you are engaging with is mostly online, we want you to know that it’s okay to take breaks, and that Indigenous Education & Services and Counseling Services are here if you need us.

About Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day was first created in the Spring of 2013 in response to the legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Indian Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Canada. Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school mobilized people to action and as a result the Orange Shirt Day/Every Child Matters campaign was created.

September 30 is a day connected to the removal of children and youth from their homes and placement in residential schools. Thanks to the influence of Phyllis’ story, it is now a day of commemoration – a day to learn and remember the history and truth of Residential Schools. This is a day for survivors and all those affected by residential schools to be reaffirmed that their voices have been heard, and they are not forgotten.

About Residential Schools

Residential Schools were government-sponsored and run by religious organizations with the intent to educate and convert Indigenous children and youth, and to assimilate them into Canadian society. 

“... it is because you do not feel, or know the value of education; you would not give up your idle roving habits, to enable your children to receive instruction. Therefore you remain poor, ignorant and miserable. It is found you cannot govern yourselves. And if left to be guided by your own judgement, you will never be better off than you are at the present; and your children will ever remain in ignorance. It has therefore been determined, that your children shall be sent to Schools, where they will forget their Indian habits and be instructed in all the necessary arts of civilized life, and become one with your white brethren." (Indian Affairs Superintendent, P. G. Anderson, in 1846, at the General Council of Indian Chiefs and Principle Men in Orillia, Ontario stated)

The first federally run Residential School in Canada opened two years later (1848) in Alderville (Alnwick), Ontario.

At school students were held captive, isolated from their families and their siblings, and forcibly stripped of their language, religion, traditions, and culture.

Orange Shirt Day is tied to the 80th Call to Action of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

"80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process."

One way that the College participates in reconciliation is to honor Orange Shirt Day. We at the College acknowledge the survivors of Residential School and also those impacted by their legacy. 

Questions and inquiries can be emailed to indigenous@langara.ca.

Keep the conversation going online by using the hashtags #orangeshirtday2020 #everychildmatters #reconciliation