I commit to supporting Truth and Reconciliation in my backyard by…
Continuing to share the truth in as many spaces as humanly possible.

I commit to supporting Truth and Reconciliation in my backyard by…
Looking at the calls to action and figuring out how to implement them in my circle of influence.

I commit to supporting Truth and Reconciliation in my backyard by…
Teaching my students about the first people’s not as a collective group but as individuals.

I commit to supporting Truth and Reconciliation in my backyard by…
Including indigenous content in my course to expose students to history unlearned.

Orange Shirt Day (September 30th) is an initiative that was started in 2013 to honour Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada.

Image credit: orangeshirtday.org
The “orange shirt” in Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad was given by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at the residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”

The date of September 30 was chosen for the annual event because it is the time of year when Indigenous children were historically taken from their homes to residential schools.
The story of Orange Shirt Day

CSI supports our Indigenous communities and the push for reconciliation. As a community, we must create safe spaces for those to tell their stories and have the opportunity to reclaim their identities. We must raise awareness of the impact of residential schools and honour the survivors. We will support, and we hope you will join your CSI Board of Directors in wearing an orange shirt on September 30 for Orange Shirt Day to reaffirm that every child matters.

Join us on
Orange Shirt Day

Conestoga’s 4th annual Truth and Reconciliation event will be taking place virtually this year. It will be hosted on September 30 to coincide with Orange Shirt Day. Please wear an orange shirt to show your support!
RSVP online

Testimonials

Being able to hear the different life stories of the guest speakers was very eye-opening.

We need to seek the truth in these issues as allyship is supposed to be uncomfortable even if we don't want to accept it the distributing and "hard facts", we cannot have a relationship with others based on misconceptions. This experience has allowed me to come to the realization that reconciliation is not just one action, but requires continuous, active action and not just an apology.

After this experience, I have thought a lot about how I can include Indigenous Studies in my teaching when I become an ECE. Reflective practice engages people in the practice of continuous learning.

I learned at the event that we as Canadians tend to overuse collective nouns in the Indigenous community and that there are more specific words to use if you can. Ie. Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee.

Check out these other great resources

Visit Student Engagement’s resource page to develop your leadership skills related to diversity and inclusion, cultural competency and communication.

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Check out this article about Lila Bruyere, the elder who will be participating in Conestoga College’s Orange Shirt Day event.

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Learn more about Woodland Cultural Centre, which serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language and culture.
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