Orange Shirt Day
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. Community members are encouraged to wear orange to show their support and to honour survivors of residential schools.
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.
September 30, 2021 also marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, external link.
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.
How and where to get an orange shirt
There are several ways to show your support and order your shirt for Orange Shirt Day events. It is recommended that community members purchase orange shirts from retailers, particularly from Indigenous-owned businesses, that give a significant percentage of proceeds to Indigenous charities and organizations.
This year, TMU's Campus Store created Every Child Matters orange shirts in partnership with Aboriginal Initiatives. The shirts are available for purchase now and 100 per cent of profits are donated to the Orange Shirt Society, external link. A former TMU student, Lucia Laford (Anishinaabe/Irish) provided the Woodland design featured on the orange shirt.
Orange shirts can also be purchased from the official Orange Shirt Day merchandise website, external link or the Woodland Cultural Centre, external link.
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.
Learn more in the PDF fileCommunity Consultation Summary Report.
Orange Shirt Day 2020 was led by TMU Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) (as part of Aboriginal Initiatives in the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion) in collaboration with the Aboriginal Education Council, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, TMU Library, School of Early Childhood Studies, School of Midwifery and School of Social Work.