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Orange Shirt Day

February 8, 2021

​Students in schools across WSD will recognize Indigenous culture and remember residential school survivors as part of Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. 

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.

Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.


- Video created by John Dell of Signal Point Media (


‘We Remember’ 2020 Contest

Win a copy of the ‘Answering the Calls - A Child’s view to 94 Calls to Action’ book. One of 50 copies of the book will be awarded to each student or parent with the correct answer to the following question:

What is the name of the girl who had her orange tee shirt taken away at Residential School?

Like or follow our social media page and tell us Orange Shirt Day is inspired by whose story through email at Do not forget to mention your name and contact number. If you are a student in WSD school, please provide the school name and grade as well.   

Let's wear orange in support of Every Child Matters. All children deserve an opportunity to have security, education and good health!

Orange Shirt Day is an important day when WSD Schools and educators honour the residential school survivors and remember those that didn't make it home.  

While it can be a difficult process to remember a darker time in Canadian history, learning about that past can help build identity and meaning for students today. 

Indigenous students acquire a positive self-identity through learning their own histories, cultures and contemporary lifestyles. Non-Indigenous students develop an understanding and respect for the histories, cultures, and contemporary lifestyles of Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous education is a priority at WSD since 1993 and the K-12 curricula integrates indigenous values, languages, histories and cultures.

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