Orange Shirt Day

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September 30 is an annual day to recognize and raise awareness about the residential school system in Canada, join together in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour the experiences of Indigenous Peoples. Between the late 1800s and 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended Indian residential schools – Orange Shirt Day commemorates this legacy.

#orangeshirtday | September 30

UBC’s Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (RSHDC) is trying to raise awareness about Orange Shirt Day and its meaning, to affect positive change on the UBC Vancouver campus.

Please show your support of Orange Shirt Day by talking about the day, learning about its origins and residential schools, and honour Survivors by wearing orange.

Stop by the Centre on Monday, September 30 between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to browse the exhibition, pick up a button and learn more. We’ll have cultural and health support provided by the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS).

Download the Poster (PDF)

Order a t-shirt from the Orange Shirt Society


Learn about the origins of Orange Shirt Day

Six-year-old Phyllis Webstad was excited about her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. in 1973. Her granny had bought her a new, bright orange shirt for the occasion. But when she proudly arrived at the church-run residential school, she was stripped of her clothes, and her hair was cut. Her new shirt was taken away and she never got it back.

“The colour orange has always reminded me of that, and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared, and how I felt I was worth nothing,” said Phyllis, forty years later.


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Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond receives honorary degree from Carleton University

On November 9, Centre Director Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Aki-kwe received an honorary degree from Carleton University in recognition of her “commitment to improving supports for Indigenous Peoples and addressing the needs of children and youth involved in the justice system.”

Aki-kwe received the Doctor of Laws at the university’s Fall Convocation, where she addressed more than 1,300 Carleton students who were also receiving their degrees. She advised the graduates to “stand on the shoulders of the people who have so willingly taught you here, your family and your friends – but go out and make the world a better place,” as she did when she first completed her Bachelor of Arts at the university.

The university’s dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Pauline Rankin also remarked on Aki-kwe’s role as BC’s first Representative for Children and Youth and her involvement in United Nations initiatives “to advance child welfare reform and Indigenous rights.”

Aki-kwe graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts before pursuing a law degree from Osgoode Hall, a master’s degree in international law from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate of law from Harvard Law School.

Congratulations Aki-kwe!

View the press release online.

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