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Orange Shirt Day

On Orange Shirt Day, we remember and honour the Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools - let's stand together for reconciliation.
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When it is?
September 30
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Category
Cause
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Country
Canada
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Founded
Introduction

On September 30, let's come together to honor and remember those who were impacted by the residential school system on Orange Shirt Day. This day was first observed in 2013 in British Columbia, Canada, as a way to recognize the trauma and injustice faced by Indigenous children who were forced to attend residential schools. The orange shirt serves as a powerful symbol of solidarity and hope for healing and reconciliation. Let's wear our orange shirts with pride and continue to educate ourselves on this important part of history.

History of Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day Dates

Orange Shirt Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1800s-1996</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Residential Schools Era</div><div class='timeline-text'>Canada saw the establishment and operation of residential schools, an initiative to assimilate Indigenous children into the European-Canadian society, likewise eroding their language, culture and identities.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2008</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Truth and Reconciliation Commission</div><div class='timeline-text'>Canada established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to document the history and impact of the residential school system, promoting healing and reconciliation efforts.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2013</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Orange Shirt Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>Orange Shirt Day was first officially recognized in British Columbia as a day to honor the Indigenous victims of the residential school system.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2015</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>TRC Final Report</div><div class='timeline-text'>The TRC issued its final report cementing orange shirt day as a key component of national reconciliation efforts by acknowledging the traumatic legacy of residential schools.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2017</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>National Day for Truth and Reconciliation</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Government of Canada announced September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, encompassing the importance of Orange Shirt Day nationwide.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Today</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Continued Observance</div><div class='timeline-text'>People across Canada and increasingly globally recognize Orange Shirt Day, contributing towards education and awareness on the impact of residential schools, fostering dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Orange Shirt Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Wear an orange shirt</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>The simplest way to celebrate Orange Shirt Day is to wear an orange shirt. This color symbolizes the resilience and strength of Indigenous communities and wearing it shows your support for reconciliation and healing.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Educate yourself</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take the time to learn about the history and significance of Orange Shirt Day. Educate yourself on the impact of residential schools and the ongoing effects on Indigenous communities in Canada.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a community event</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Many communities hold events and ceremonies to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. Attend one of these events to show your support and gain a deeper understanding of the day's significance.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Spread awareness on social media</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Use your social media platforms to share information and raise awareness about Orange Shirt Day. This can help educate others and encourage them to participate in the day's events and activities.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make a donation</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Consider making a donation to an organization that supports Indigenous communities and promotes reconciliation. This is a tangible way to show your support for Orange Shirt Day and contribute to positive change.</p></div></div>

Why Orange Shirt Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It raises awareness about the residential school system</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Orange Shirt Day is a day dedicated to honoring the survivors of the residential school system in Canada. It's an opportunity to educate people about the traumatic experiences Indigenous children faced in these schools and the intergenerational impacts it has had on their families and communities.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It promotes reconciliation</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By acknowledging and remembering the harm caused by the residential school system, Orange Shirt Day can help promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It's a step towards healing and building stronger relationships based on understanding and mutual respect.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It honors survivors and their resilience</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Orange Shirt Day is a way to pay tribute to the survivors of residential schools and honor their strength and resilience. By wearing orange, we are showing our support for those who have been impacted by this dark chapter in Canadian history and recognizing their ongoing journey towards healing and reconciliation.</p></div></div>

5 Uncovered Facts about Orange Shirt Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orange Shirt Day Originates from a True Story</h3><p class='facts-content'>The day is inspired by the plight of Phyllis Webstad, a residential school survivor from British Columbia. She was stripped of her shiny new orange shirt – a symbol of warmth and happiness – on her first day at a residential school, which eventually led to this commemoration.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orange Shirt Day is Recognized Internationally</h3><p class='facts-content'>Though originating in Canada, the impact of Orange Shirt Day has reached international audiences. People around the globe come together in solidarity to raise awareness about the legacy of the residential schools.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Exact Date of Observation Holds a Specific Significance</h3><p class='facts-content'>Orange Shirt Day is celebrated on September 30th as this time of year is when Indigenous children were taken from their homes to residential schools. Choosing this date thus reflects a historical accuracy.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orange Shirt Day Encourages Continued Learning</h3><p class='facts-content'>The day is meant not only to remember but also to inspire ongoing individual and societal learning efforts about the residential school system, its repercussions, and respective healing measures.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Colour Orange Represents a Broad Symbolism</h3><p class='facts-content'>Besides the personal story of Phyllis Webstad, the color orange is considered as a symbol of both healing and maintaining visibility of a major issue that's a part of the fabric of Canadian society.</p></div></div>

Orange Shirt Day FAQs

When is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day is celebrated on September 30 every year. In 2024 Orange Shirt Day will occur on a Monday.

Orange Shirt Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Sep 30

Saturday

2024

Sep 30

Monday

2025

Sep 30

Tuesday

2026

Sep 30

Wednesday

2027

Sep 30

Thursday

Cause Holidays