Orange Shirt Day is an event, created in 2013, designed to educate people and promote awareness in Canada about the residential school system and the impact it has had on Indigenous communities for over a century—an impact that continues today.
It grew out of an account by a former First Nations student who had her orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission residential school, and has evolved into an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools going on an annual basis.
The end of September was selected as the date of recognition, as it represented the time of year when First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken away from their homes to be placed in residential schools. To find out how to order the official “Every Child Matters” orange shirt, please visit the Orange Shirt Day website referenced below.
During Orange Shirt Day, on September 30, 2021, there will also be a special program to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. OSSTF/FEESO members are encouraged to acknowledge this day by participating in this event, or another event in your local community.
Members can participate virtually by sharing images and messages on social media that demonstrates their support for this day using the hashtags – #OrangeShirtDay, #EveryChildMatters, #residentialschools, and #OSSTF.
To find out how to order the official “Every Child Matters” orange shirt, please visit the Orange Shirt Day website.