On September 30, wear an orange shirt to remember and honour Indigenous children who were taken from their homes.
On September 30, people all across Canada will wear orange shirts to remember and honour Indigenous children who were taken from their communities and families to residential institutions.
This year, Indigenous communities across the country continue to share the truth they have always known: that many of the children who never returned home remain on the grounds of those institutions in unmarked burial sites. These communities are now seeking to honour the missing children.
On Orange Shirt Day we also observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. For non-Indigenous Christians in particular, this is a time to reflect on their role in colonialism and the ongoing responsibility to make reparations.
Phyllis Jack Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation went to St. Joseph Mission Residential School. On her first day of school, Phyllis wore an orange shirt that her grandmother had given her. It was immediately taken away, and that marked the beginning of Phyllis’s long separation from her family and community, a separation caused by actions of the church and federal government.
Orange Shirt Day is a time for us all to remember those events and their ongoing impact. Here are some ways to mark the day.
Orange Shirt Day Activities
Sunday, September 24
Mark Orange Shirt Day in your community of faith!
- For children’s time, read and reflect on Phyllis Webstad’s book, The Orange Shirt Story (widely available).
- Use this prayer written for Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Whether your community of faith is meeting in person, online, or both, please ask people to wear orange for a community picture. It could be a group photo, a Zoom call screenshot, or a photo collage. Share your photos on Facebook and Twitter (include the hashtags #OrangeShirtDay, #EveryChildMatters, and #UCCan).
- Watch and share the Moderator's Orange Shirt Day message.
Saturday, September 30
Wear an orange shirt on September 30. Whether you’re at work, at school, or at home, get out that orange shirt!
Make sure you take a picture to share on Facebook and Twitter (include the hashtags #OrangeShirtDay, #EveryChildMatters, and #UCCan), and challenge your friends and family to do the same.