Indigenous Education

Indigenous Education

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters

September 26, 2022

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, takes place annually on September 30 to recognize Residential School survivors as well as those who never made it home. It’s a day to acknowledge this horrific history and move forward on a healing journey as we continue to commit to Truth and Reconciliation.

The “orange shirt” in Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad, Residential School survivor and creator of Orange Shirt Day, was given to her by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Missions Residential School in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt.

RRC Polytech staff and students are pictured wearing their orange shirts to honour the Indigenous children, like Phyllis, who were forcibly taken from their homes and the intergenerational impacts of Residential Schools.

This year, orange t-shirts, featuring a design by local artist, Peatr Thomas, were created in partnership by RRC Polytech’s School of Indigenous Education and the Campus Store. The t-shirts are now available at the Exchange District and Notre Dame Campus Stores, with all proceeds going directly to the Mínwastánikéwin Truth and Reconciliation Award, which provides bursaries for Indigenous students studying at the College. Orange shirts sell out every year, so get yours now and wear it on Sept 30.