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Orange Shirt Day: 2023

Orange Shirt Day Event: 
Every Child Matters
Thursday, September 28
1:30 - 3:00 pm

You are invited to witness and participate in this significant ceremony remembering the residential school experience.  

Na’tsa’maht: The Gathering Place, Lansdowne campus

1:00 pm Gather at Na'tsa'maht

1:30 pm Dr. Barney Williams is the event MC and presenter. He is a survivor and was an Elder on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. Coffee, tea, and snacks to follow. 

About this guide

Indigenous communities and residential school survivors have, for many years, provided testimonies and spoken truths about Canada's Indian residential school system. In 2012 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published the interim report, They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools. In 2015, as volume 4 of the final report, Canada's Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials, was published.

Canadians have known about the atrocities of Canada's residential school system for a long time. It is time to listen, learn, and take action. In honour of both the children who did not survive, as well those who did, take some time today for learning as an act of reconciliation.

For additional resources related to residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, visit the IST: Indigenous Studies: Residential Schools and IST Indigenous Studies: Sixties Scoop guides.

Caution: Many of the resources in this guide contain discussions or scenes of violence or representations of trauma which may be painful for readers/viewers – please exercise care.

If you need help: The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides 24-hour phone support for Indigenous people in BC. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1-800-588-8717. Individuals can also call the Youth Line at 250-723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250-723-4050.

The Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419 is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their or a loved one's residential school experience.

Camosun students can access help from the Counselling Centre. For resources related to emergency and after hours support, on-campus support, and other information, visit the Counselling Centre Resources webpage.

Resources for young people

Orange Shirt Day founder Phyllis Webstad answers kids’ questions.
CBC Kids News, September 25, 2023.

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

AIV icon

Image of the Authentic Indigenous Voices icon

The Authentic Indigenous Voices (AIV) icon has been developed as a visual signifier for people seeking Indigenous created content from the Camosun Library. The icon is a starting point for readers to identify the creators of resources featured in library guides and may assist with the indigenization of course curricula, research, and other scholarly activities.

Look for the icon or words, "Authentic Indigenous Voices," next to library resources.

To find out more, visit the Authentic Indigenous Voices page on the Indigenizing Citations at Camosun guide

Orange Shirt Day


Orange Shirt Day (September 30) is an annual event where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together to honour residential school survivors, those students who did not survive, their families and communities, and to reflect on the far-reaching impacts of Canada's Indian residential school system. Beginning in 2021, September 30 has also been recognized in Canada as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The residential school system era began in the early 1870’s, continuing through to 1996, when the last school closed. More than 150,000 Indigenous, Métis and Inuit children attended residential school. Orange Shirt Day takes place in early autumn to acknowledge the time of year children when were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools.

Orange Shirt Day began in 2013, in Williams Lake, BC. Phyllis Webstad (Northern Secwpemc, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation), a survivor of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in William's Lake, told the story of her experience including the orange shirt that was stripped from her on her first day at the school at age six.

Phyllis's story has inspired people to take part in anti-bullying and anti-racism initiatives across Canada, and to learn about and acknowledge the reality of Canada's colonial history. Visit the website to learn about Phyllis's story in her own words.

Further reading

Aki-Wayn-zih: A Person As Worthy As the Earth

Eli Baxter, 2021

* Authentic Indigenous Voices

I Place You into the Fire: Poems

Rebecca Thomas, 2020
Call number: PS 8639 H5875 I2 2020

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Fragments of Truth: Residential Schools and the Challenge of Reconciliation in Canada

Naomi Angel, Edited by Dylan Robinson & Jamie Berthe, 2022
Call number: E 96.5 A54 2022

* Authentic Indigenous Voices

Spirit of the Grassroots People: Seeking Justice for Indigenous Survivors of Canada's Colonial Education System

Raymond Mason, Jackson Pind & Theodore Michael Christou, 2020

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Intimate Integration: A History of the Sixties Scoop and the Colonization of Indigenous Kinship

Allyson D. Stevenson, 2021
Call number: HV 875.7 C2 S74 2021

* Authentic Indigenous Voices

Stories of Métis Women: Tales My Kookum Told Me

Bailey Oster & Marilyn Lizee, foreword by Audrey Poitras, 2021
Call number: E 99 M47 S76 2021

* Authentic Indigenous Voices

A Drum in One Hand, a Sockeye in the Other: Stories of Indigenous Food Sovereignty from the Northwest Coast

Charlotte Coté, 2021
Call number: E 99 N85 C67 2022

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Five Little Indians

Michelle Good, 2020
Call number: PS 8613 O62 F58 2020

*Authentic Indigenous Voices


The Boy from Buzwah: A Life in Indian Education

Cecil King, 2022
Call number: E 99 O9 K56 2022

* Authentic Indigenous Voices

Streaming Media

True Story - Part One

Directed by Dinae Robinson
National Film Board of Canada, 2022
Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes

* Authentic Indigenous Voices

Film still from

Birth of a Family

Directed by Tasha Hubbard
National Film Board of Canada. 2016
Running time: 1 hour, 19 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Stories Are in Our Bones

Written and directed by Janine Windolph
National Film Board of Canada, 2019
Running time: 11 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Screen shot from Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle

Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle

Written and directed by Peter Campbell & Christine Welsh
Gumboot Productions, 1997
Running time: 44 minutes
Also on DVD – call number: E 96.6 K83 K83 1997

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Film still from

Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair

Written and directed by Alanis Obomsawin
National Film Board of Canada, 2021
Running time: 29 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Film still from

We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice

Written and directed by Alanis Obomsawin
National Film Board of Canada, 2016
Running time: 2 hours, 42 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Film still from

Freedom Road: Elders / Gitchi-aya'aag

Writen and directed by Angela McLeod
National Film Board of Canada, 2019
Running time: 12 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Film still from

Holy Angels

Written and directed by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve
National Film Board of Canada, 2017
Running time: 13 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Slide image of film, Our People will be Healed

Our People Will Be Healed

Written and directed by Alanis Obomsawin
National Film Board of Canada, 2017
Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Etlinisigu'niet (Bleed Down)

Directed by Jeff Barnaby
National Film Board of Canada, 2015
Running time: 5 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Christmas at Moose Factory

Written and directed by Alanis Obomsawin
National Film Board of Canada, 1971
Running time: 13 minutes

*Authentic Indigenous Voices

Online resources

Art & reconciliation