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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An Opera and Symposium: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

January 27 is the International Day of Commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust, and marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In honour of the victims, UBC Opera Ensemble (School of Music), the Modern European Studies Program (Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies) and the Witnessing Auschwitz International Seminar (Go Global) have organized a symposium leading up to the UBC Opera’s presentation of the Canadian premiere of “The Passenger” by Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

The four-day symposium runs Monday, January 27 to Thursday, January 30. The symposium will include speakers and panel discussions, including a talk on residential schools from Dr. Tricia Logan, RSHDC’s head of Research and Engagement which will take place at the Centre. Sasha Duranseaud, a digital system consultant at RSHDC and an alumni of Witnessing Auschwitz, will also present at the panel Remembering Holocaust Survivors in the UBC Community. The full program is available online.

Other events happening include satellite exhibits:

“Experiencing the Holocaust, Sharing Memories: The UBC Community Reading and Witnessing Auschwitz”
The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
January 15 – February 28

“Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Exhibit”
at Hillel House, January 27 – 30
at Chan Centre, January 30 – February 2

Learn more about the exhibits

  1. (De)colonial Spaces of Memory Activism Leave a reply
  2. Centre under construction until April 2020 Leave a reply
  3. Primer on practice shifts required with Canada’s Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families Act Leave a reply
  4. Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre congratulates BC on implementing a key Call to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Leave a reply
  5. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond receives honorary degree from Carleton University Leave a reply
  6. Stepping Down?, Virtual Kidnapping & Firing Over a Tweet Leave a reply
  7. B.C. Indigenous rights law aims to make First Nations full participants Leave a reply
  8. Editorial: Confronting Myths About Indigenous Consent Leave a reply
  9. Reconciliation’s reckoning: For Indigenous people in Northern Ontario, election season brings disenchantment and defiance Leave a reply