September 30, 2022: Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Every child matters. On September 30th, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada.

Artwork by Musqueam artist Darryl Blyth


The Canadian government designated September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, beginning in 2021. This responds to Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80, which states that the federal government will work with Indigenous people to establish a statutory day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process”. 

Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Phyllis’s shiny new orange shirt was stripped from her, never to be seen again. 

40 years later, on September 30th, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience, and thus began the Orange Shirt Day movement.

Hear Phyllis tell her orange shirt story:

“When you wear an orange shirt it’s like a little bit of justice for us Survivors in our lifetime, and recognition of a system we can never allow again,”

~Phyllis Webstad

Wear orange

Wearing orange is a way to show your support for Survivors and their families and acknowledge the legacy of residential schools.

Each year, the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre works with an Indigenous artist to create a unique Orange Shirt Day t-shirt design. This year’s shirts feature the work of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) artist Darryl Blyth.

About the Artist and Artist’s Statement can be found here

Shirts with Darryl’s design will be available for sale at the UBC Bookstore and the MOA shop by September 1, 2022. Profits from the sales will be donated to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivor Society. A listing of orange t-shirts with Indigenous designs can also be found here.

Visit UBC’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre to learn more about their work.

See what is happening at UBC for Orange Shirt Day in 2022

The impacts of residential schools can be emotionally triggering and there are resources available to you:

  • UBC resources:
  • Community mental health resources:
    • Crisis Centre BC. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or thinking about suicide, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time: 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE), (24 hours a day),
    • Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS), 1-866-925-4419 (Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week)
    • Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or use the chat box on their website.
    • Métis Crisis Line, 1-833-MÉTISBC