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Orange Shirt Day

A group of people standing wearing orange shirts with print stating every child matters

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Ozaawaa Babigoyaan Giizhigad (Orange Shirt Day) and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (external link)  take place annually on September 30. It is a commemorative day of recognition and awareness-raising about the impacts of the Canadian Residential School System and government policy imposed on Indigenous Peoples. 

Orange Shirt Day originated from Phyllis Webstad’s story (external link)  who is a residential school survivor. 

Orange Shirt Day at TMU

University community members (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) come together every year in the spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation and to provide space for meaningful conversations and reflection on the impacts of residential schools and their legacy in our community.

The significance of September 

Ozaawaa Babigoyaan Giizhigad (Orange Shirt Day) is commemorated every September 30. September aligns with the time of year in which children were taken from their homes and communities to attend residential schools. This part of Canadian history occurred for more than 150 years where 150,000 children and more attended the schools and many never returned. To learn more, please visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website (external link) .

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

Ozaawaa Babigoyaan Giizhigad (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 Community Consultation Summary Report.