Giving Back: Orange Shirt Day

With the theme of reconciliation sweeping the nation, we are proud to present another charity that we support ~ ORANGE SHIRT DAY. In 2021, September 30th was deemed a holiday as Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

How did Orange Shirt Day begin?

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself.  

It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc  Nations along with the Cariboo Regional District, the Mayors and municipalities, School Districts and civic organisations in the Cariboo Region. 

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realisation that every former student had similar stories. 


Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of this project.  As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.  

How can you help?

  • Wear an Orange Shirt to raise awareness of the tragic legacy or residential schools and honour the survivors. 
  • READ the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.
  • Educate yourself on indigenous issues.

The money raised through donations will help to raise awareness and promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

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