The University of Windsor is committed to reconciliation. We're working to foster respect and mutual understanding with all Indigenous peoples and communities. You can partner in the work of reconciliation by listening, learning, and sharing on Orange Shirt Day.
An Orange Shirt Day committee was formed in 2021 to help guide the decisions made about September 30th. If you wish to learn more about the committee or if you would like to submit any suggested changes to the website for the committee to consider, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Orange Shirt Day?
Orange Shirt Day is a national movement and annual event in Canada. During this day Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation to honour residential school survivors, their families, and communities.
Take time to learn about the impacts of the policies and actions of the Government of Canada and the churches that operated the schools. We listen to the stories of survivors and their families and remember those that didn’t make it home.
This year’s Orange Shirt Day will take place on September 30, 2022, the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
Residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad began observing this day in Williams Lake, BC in 2013 at the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event at which told the story of her shiny new orange shirt that was taken away from her on her first day of school at the SJM.
Orange Shirt Day occurs in early fall because this is the time of year when children were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools.
The residential school era began in the early 1870’s, with the last school closing in 1996. More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended these schools. There are an estimated 80,000 survivors living today.
Orange Shirt Day is an annual event held each September 30th in remembrance of the Canadian Residential School system and the impact of this government policy on First Nations. Phyllis Webstad presents her memories of Residential schools and the meaning of Orange Shirt Day.
Susie Kicknosway Jones shares her experiences with us as a First Nations person and a Christian. She reflects on her life, the suffering she had endured, and how she lives now as a survivor of the residential school system and a follower of Jesus.
Gregg Deal is a husband, father, artist and a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. As a provocative contemporary artist-activist much of Deal’s work deals with Indigenous identity and pop culture, touching on issues of race relations, historical consideration and stereotype. With this work—including paintings, mural work, performance art, filmmaking and spoken word—Deal critically examines issues within Indian country such as decolonization, the Native mascot issue and appropriation.
Join Jaimie Kechego for Pulling Together Session 1. This workshop will introduce you to the Indigenous Peoples in Canada, their histories, and their cultures. It will also answer some of the questions that people often ask about Indigenous Peoples and debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions.
This event will feature teachings from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and insights from academics and members of the legal professions with a focus on reconciliation. Other topics of interest will include the legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the reconciling crown sovereignty with Indigenous sovereignty.
Wednesday, September 14 - Friday, October 14, 2022
Location: Leddy Library, Main Stairwell
View the Orange Shirt Day Art Installation at Leddy Library located in the main stairwell of Leddy’s main building. Orange shirts will be added daily throughout the month of September until Orange Shirt Day (Friday, September 30th) to honour residential school victims, survivors, their families, and communities.
Join Jaimie Kechego for Pulling Together Session 2. This workshop will examine the role of colonization and how it continues to affect Indigenous Peoples in Canada and define the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people today.
Join Jaimie Kechego for Pulling Together Session 3. “Each day that Indigenous rights are not honoured or fulfilled, inequality between Indigenous peoples and the settler society grows.– Idle No More, “The Story” In Canada, we are still dealing with the legacy of colonization. Media, institutions, and ordinary people still perpetuate harmful stereotypes and beliefs about Indigenous Peoples. This creates a society that continues to discriminate against Indigenous Peoples. Decolonization is the “undoing” of colonization and a process by which Indigenous Peoples are regaining their rightful place in Canada and are thriving. In session 3, we will address some of the challenges that exist because of centuries of institutionalized racism.
Panel Talk: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (In-Person)
Friday, September 30, 2022 8:30 am – 9:50 am
Location: Education Building, Room 1120
A discussion for educators by educators on the importance of decolonizing our teaching pedagogies, and honouring all those lost to our ignorance and arrogance.
During this session, we will be learning about Orange Shirt Day, how it began and what it’s grown into nationally. There will be an exploration of what this day means to Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
Join me as I share my Grandmother’s experience attending Mt. Elgin residential school. Personal conversations as well as the book that tells her story. I will discuss the impacts of residential school upon my learning spirit and the resilience of our peoples to rise above the trauma.
There will be a film screening and discussion with Indigenous Activist Brad Gallant, writer and director of the film “Systemic Injustice.” Admission will be by donation to the Orange Shirt Day Fundraisers. Light snacks will be provided with the film showing beginning at 6:30. A short discussion will follow.
Starting location: Art Windsor-Essex (Windsor Art Gallery)
Join us for the Orange Shirt Day Campus Community Walk followed by the Drum Social Teaching.
Orange Shirt Day Drum Social Teach-In (In-person)
Friday, September 30, 2022 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: In-person, David Wilson Commons
Join the Truth & Reconciliation Reading Circle of the Paul Martin Law Library, Windsor Law in acknowledging and honouring those who attended Residential Schools. We will honour the Spirits of Survivors and those who did not come home with the big drum and with speakers who will educate on the truth of Residential Schools. Speakers Mona Stonefish (Residential School Survivor), Dr. Beverly Jacobs (Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Relations & Outreach), Assistant Professor Rebecca Major (Political Science) and the Brown Bear Singers Aamjiwnaang First Nation.
More Ways to Get Involved
Virtual Meeting Backgrounds: Save the photos below and follow the instructions to apply them to your Microsoft Teams or Zoom Meeting.
Support Indigenous students at the University of Windsor by purchasing an Orange Shirt Day t-shirt, a lawn sign or a Campus Community Cookbook. All proceeds donated will support the Indigenous students at the University of Windsor.
T-shirts, lawn signs, and cookbooks will be available for order online starting Monday, September 19th.
Geoffrey H Wood Native Bursary endowment is for students who are of Aboriginal ancestry (status, non-status, Metis, Bill C31, Innu, and Inuit), maintain satisfactory academic standing, and demonstrate financial need.
My Student Support Program (MySSP)
Provides free, confidential professional counselling for UWindsor students, available by phone or chat in 35+ languages. Can ask to speak with a counsellor who has an identity that aligns with yours (e.g., BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, etc.).
Provides UWindsor students free, confidential mental health counselling delivered by licenced mental health professionals. Our counsellors have completed accredited training in Indigenous Cultural Safety through the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre.
The University-led centre offers school and work opportunities for Indigenous people, along with cultural programming and events. The centre provides staff with additional accessible resources for support and healing.
Office (Windsor): 401 Sunset Avenue, CAW Student Centre, Room 179, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4
The Legacy of Hope Foundation has developed a collection of videos that accompany their exhibits and spread the word about the foundation’s mission to educate and foster awareness of the impacts of the Residential School System.
The NCTR was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The TRC was charged to listen to Survivors, their families, communities and others affected by the residential school system and educate Canadians about their experiences.
Missing Children of Indian Residential Schools, is a story map created by Leddy Library's geospatial data analyst, Carina Luo, that uses data collected from the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) and the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission report) and geographic information system (GIS), to provide a visual representation of the 139 Indian residential school locations across Canada as well as document the search for missing children from those schools.
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all Canadians.
This selection of films make visible the intergenerational effects of the Residential school system. There is complexity of what has been experienced and carried forward by the families of survivors. For Indigenous people in Canada, institutions were sites of harm and assimilation into the settler colonial state.
Thank you to our Orange Shirt Day Sponsors
Note: This site is a living document. Our project of cataloguing the important work being done by, with, and for Indigenous Peoples at the University of Windsor is only beginning. As we nurture and grow this site, we are eager to collaborate with the campus community. If you can identify any knowledge gaps, missing resources, or outdated or erroneous information, please contact Daniella Beaulieu, Executive Director, Academic Initiatives without hesitation. Similarly, we encourage any members of the campus community who would like to see their work represented here to get in touch.