Orange Shirt Day Teaching and Learning Resources

Between the late 1800s and 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended Indian residential schools. Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth and Reconciliation commemorates this legacy.

Phyllis Webstad began the Orange Shirt Day movement to honour the Survivors and intergenerational Survivors of residential schools, and to remember those children who never made it home. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultural identities to engage with the legacies of the residential school system.

The resources provided below are intended to act as a starting point to explore, learn more about residential schools, and begin a dialogue. Share these resources and your learnings with your friends, colleagues, and family.


Featured Resource


All resources

Non-Fiction Books and Reports

Madeleine Stout and Gregory Kipling. Aboriginal People, Resilience and the Residential School Legacy (2003)

Edited by Marlene Castellano, Linda Archibald and Mike DeGagne. From Truth to Reconciliation: Transforming the Legacy of Residential Schools (2008)

Brent Stonefish. Moving beyond: Understanding the Impacts of Residential School (2007)

Memoirs

Florence Kaefer and Edward Gamblin. Back to the Red Road: A story of Survival, Redemption and Love (2014)

Edmund Metatawabin and Alexandra Shimo. Up Ghost River: A Chief’s Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History (2014)

A.S. Jack. Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School (2006) 

Theodore Fontaine. Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools (2010)

Fred Sasakamoose. Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL’s First Treaty Indigenous Player (2021)

Bev Sellars. They Called Me Number 1 (2012)

Alicia Elliott. A Mind Spread Out on the Ground (2020)

Louise Halfe. Burning in This Midnight Dream (2016)

Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School. Did You See Us?: Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential School (2021)

Agnes Grant. Finding My Talk: How Fourteen Canadian Native Women Reclaimed Their Lives After Residential School (2004)

Antoine Bear Rock Mountain. From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor (2019)

Helen Knott. In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience (2020)

Suzanne Methot. Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing (2019)

Fiction

Joan Crate. Black Apple (2017)

Michelle Good. Five Little Indians: A Novel (2020)

Bevann Fox. Genocidal Love: A Life after Residential School (2021)

Richard Wagamese. Indian Horse: A Novel (2012)

Robert Alexie. Porcupines and China Dolls (2009)

Articles

A. Gebhard. Reconciliation or Racialization?: Contemporary Discourses about Residential Schools in the Canadian Prairies (2017)

Amy Bombay, Kimberly Matheson and Hymie Anisman. The Intergenerational Effects of Indian Residential Schools: Implications for the Concept of Historical Trauma (2014)

Dr. Daniel Heath Justice and Dr. Sean Carleton. Truth before Reconciliation: 8 ways to identify and confront Residential school denialism (2021)

Videos

Residential School Shame: The TRC Report (curio.ca)

Residential Schools: A Sad Chapter in Canadian History (curio.ca)

Films by Indigenous filmmakers about: Residential Schools History, Personal Accounts, Experience – Indigenous Cinema – NFB

We Were Children by Tim Wolochatiuk – NFB

Canadian Shame: A History of Residential Schools by Ginger Gosnell-Myers [TedXVancouver]

Intergenerational Trauma: Residential Schools by Historica Canada

Government Publications

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada [2015]

What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation [2015]

The Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada [2015]

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action [2015]

Canada’s Residential Schools: The History, Part 1 Origins to 1939 The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Volume 1

Canada’s Residential Schools: The History, Part 2 1939 to 2000 The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Volume 1

Lessons Learned: Survivor Perspectives [2020]

Resources for Children

Christy Jordan-Fenton. A Stranger at Home: A True Story (2012) [Ages 9 to 12]

Larry Loyie. As Long as the Rivers Flow (2005) [Ages 7 to 9]

Dr. Jenny Dupuis and Kathy Kacer. I am Not a Number (2016) [Ages 7 to 11]

Nicola Campbell. Shin-Chi’s Canoe (2008) [Ages 4 to 7]

Rebecca Thomas. I’m Finding My Talk (2021) [Ages 4 to 9]

Deborah Ellis. Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids (2013) [Ages 12+]

Other sites where educational resources can be found

Organizations