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Orange Shirt Day Opening and Virtual Tour of Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre

September 29, 2021
2:00 PM EDT - 3:45 PM EDT
Online via Zoom
Open To
Students, faculty, staff and community members
Cher Trudeau

Join us on September 29 for an online event in recognition of Orange Shirt Day (September 30), a global day of recognition and awareness-raising about residential schools. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange to show their support and to honour survivors of residential schools.

Following opening remarks from university leaders, Maddy Bifano (Community Access Assistant for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University) will lead a virtual tour of Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre. The tour will provide a detailed overview of the site and its history and offer insight into the day-to-day lives of former students at the Shingwauk Residential School.

Guest speakers

  • Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire, Elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor
  • Dr. Jennifer Simpson, Provost and Vice-President, Academic
  • Dr. Denise O’Neil Green, Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion
  • Monica McKay, Director, Aboriginal Initiatives, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion
  • Maddy Bifano, Community Access Assistant for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, Algoma University

About Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre

The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre is a cross-cultural research and educational project of Algoma University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, which includes former students of the residential schools, staff, descendants, family and friends. Algoma University is located on the site (and uses some of the buildings) of the former Shingwauk and Wawanosh Indian Residential Schools in Sault Ste. Marie. The Shingwauk Indian Residential School operated in Sault Ste. Marie from 1873 until its closure in 1970.

About Maddy Bifano

Maddy Bifano is the Community Access Assistant for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. They hold an M.A. in Public History from Western University, and are a settler historian located on Robinson-Huron Treaty territory. 

Closed captioning and ASL will be provided

The event will take place on Zoom. Closed captioning and ASL will be provided.

Let us know if you require specific accommodations

The university is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any accommodation requirements, please let us know in the registration form. You can also email


If you have any questions, please contact Cher Trudeau (administrative assistant, Aboriginal Initiatives and coordinator, Aboriginal Education Council) at

Orange Shirt Day organizing committee

Orange Shirt Day events are organized by Aboriginal Initiatives in the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Education Council, Indigenous Students Association, Student Affairs, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Library, School of Early Childhood Studies, School of Midwifery, School of Social Work, and the School of Journalism.

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day takes place annually on September 30 and is a global day of recognition and awareness-raising about residential schools. We commemorate the day by wearing an orange shirt or clothing item.

University community members come together every year in the spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation and to provide space for conversations on the impact of residential schools and their legacy in our community. For survivors of residential schools, Orange Shirt Day reaffirms that their lived experience matters and recognizes the multiple generations who experienced trauma. The entire university community is invited to join the discussion of our collective responsibility to advance truth and reconciliation for generations to come.

The significance of September 

September was chosen because it falls within the time of year in which children were taken from their homes and sent to residential schools. Given it is also at the start of the school year, it represents an opportunity to set the stage and draw awareness to anti-racism and anti-bullying initiatives.

A key initiative as part of Truth and Reconciliation at the university

Orange Shirt Day was identified as a key initiative brought forward by students as part of the university’s Truth and Reconciliation community consultations. 2021 marks the fifth year in which the university has hosted an Orange Shirt Day event.

Learn more in the PDF fileCommunity Consultation Summary Report as part of Truth and Reconciliation.