Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day Quick Facts

2022 DateSeptember 30, 2022
2023 DateSeptember 30, 2023
Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day History

Orange Shirt Day seeks to raise awareness about the cruelty of Indian residential schools and the hardship indigenous students faced. Schools like St. Joseph Mission received funding from the Canadian government in 1883. They proved to be a horrible experience for indigenous families. This day aims to educate and inform Canadians about the tragedies that resulted from the implementation of these schools. It aims to reaffirm survivors that their lives and stories matter. This day serves as a step toward reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day was established in 2013 by Esk'etemc Chief Fred Robbins, a former student of the residential schools. It is observed annually on September 30th.

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Orange Shirt Day Facts

  • Between 1891 and 1981 the federal government forced many indigenous children to attend schools away from their families. Many were abused and forbidden from practising their own culture.
  • It is estimated that at least 3,000 children died while attending the government and church run residential schools between 1891 and 1981.
  • Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault proposed a bill in 2020 that would make Orange Shirt Day a national statutory holiday. It would change the name to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

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