Orange Shirt Day- September 30, 2019!

Posted September 24, 2019

Orange Shirt Day: communities coming together in a spirit of reconciliation and hope because every child matters.

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day (September 30th) is a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.

What are Residential Schools?

Residential schools were church-run schools where approximately 150,000 Métis, Inuit, and First Nations children were sent between the 1860s and the 1990s. The schools harmed Indigenous children by removing them from their families, forcing them to speak English or French instead of their ancestral languages, disconnecting them from their culture and traditions and forcing them to adopt Christianity in order to assimilate into Canadian society. The government has since acknowledged that this approach was wrong, cruel and ineffective, and offered an official apology to the Indigenous people of Canada in 2008.

Why is September 30th a special date?

September 30th falls during the time of year when Indigenous children were taken away to residential school.

Why is it an orange shirt?

Wearing an orange shirt and promoting the slogan, Every Child Matters, is an affirmation of our commitment to raise awareness of the residential school experience and to ensure that every child matters as we focus on our hope for a better future in which children are empowered to help each other.

Who created Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis to educate people about residential schools and fight racism and bullying.

What can you do?

There are many ways you can get involved!

  • Wear an orange shirt on September 30th (or, since it falls on a Sunday this year, a day close to September 30th)
  • Read Phyllis’ story “The Orange Shirt Story” with your classroom or your family. It’s available in English, French, and Shuswap.
  • Read books by Indigenous authors about residential schools. Some great books are featured right here on CBCKids!
  • Trace your hand and write something on it that you can do to help others feel like they matter.


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