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

We invite our community to get involved in learning more about Orange Shirt Day and the history of residential schools.

We understand that Orange Shirt Day is an emotional day for our Indigenous community. Indigenous Education & Services and Counseling Services are here if you need us.

"Education is a powerful tool that can be misused, as we’ve seen in the Residential School systems. As we remember those that suffered on Orange Shirt Day, it is important that past mistakes are not repeated. snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ remains committed to participate in reconciliation. As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are continually examining our own practices to ensure our community moves forward in a good way." - Special Advisor, Gail Sparrow

Watch the video, 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.

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

Keep the conversation going online by using the hashtags #orangeshirtday2021 #everychildmatters #reconciliation