Orange shirt Day text on an orange banner

Orange Shirt Day


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 to help guide the descisions 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

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day is a national movement in Canada. During this annual event, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation to honour residential school survivors, their families, and communities. 


On this day, we 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, 2021, the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.


Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, BC in 2013 at the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event at which, survivor Phyllis Webstad 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.


Hear Our Stories

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.

Annie's personal experience contextualizes her talk, which focuses on the importance of family and community in overcoming traumatic experiences.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 @ 2:00 pm 
Join Vanessa Kennedy in conversation as she discusses the dark history of the residential school legacy, stories of survivors and the effect intergenerational trauma has had on survivors.  
Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 @ 11:30 am  
Join Stanford White, as he discusses his journey in becoming a Fire Keeper.  
Thursday, September 30th @ 11:00 am 
A walk to honour the children of the past by focusing on the children of the present, to prepare for the children of the future. 
Thursday, September 30th, 2021, @ 3:00 pm 
A discussion surrounding the unsettling truths that need to be taught in the classroom. 
Thursday, September 30th, 2021 @ 4:30 pm 
Join the Paul Martin Law Library's Sharing Circle for this virtual Orange Shirt Day event as they present the National Film Board films, This was the Time and WAAYDANAA - Now is the Time. 
Friday, October 1st, 2021, @ 10:00 am 
The Legacy of Hope Foundation's presentation on Orange Shirt Day. 
Monday, October 4th, 2021 @ 11:30 am
The Sisters in Spirit Vigil is space created to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people. MMIWG2S+.

More Ways to Get Involved

Facebook Frames: To participate, from your Facebook account, select 'update profile picture' and then 'add frame'. In the frame search field, type 'Shkawbewisag' to add the custom frame to your profile picture.

Virtual Meeting Backgrounds: Save the photos below and follow the instructions to apply them to your Microsoft Teams or Zoom Meeting.  

Presentation Slide: Teaching a class on Orange Shirt Day? Add this image to your presentation to talk about Orange Shirt Day with your students.

Email Signature: Add Orange Shirt Day to your email signature.

View instructions to learn how to add Orange Shirt Day to your email signature.


Support Indigenous Students on Campus

Support Indigenous students at the University of Windsor by purchasing an Orange Shirt Day t-shirt or a lawn sign. All proceeds donated will support Indigenous students at the University of Windsor.

Please note that we have sold out of lawn signs and t-shirts. Thank you to our UWindsor community for your support.

T-Shirts and lawn signs that have been purchased will be available for pick up at the CAW Student Centre room 117 Tuesday, September 28th and Wednesday, September 29th from 12-3 pm.

Still interested in contributing?

You can also support our Indigenous students by donating to the Geoffrey H Wood Native Bursary endowment. 

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. 

Donate Now



Healing and Support

If you find that you need emotional support after engaging with Orange Shirt Day material, there are some services available.

Indian Residential School Survivors Society Crisis Line | Phone & Chat | 24/7
24-hour crisis line for survivors and family of survivors.
Toll-Free: 1-866-925-4419
Culturally grounded, fully confidential helpline for Indigenous women available in 14 languages all across Ontario. 
Help Line: 1-855-554-HEAL (4357) 
Crisis Line: 1-888-200-9997 
Hope for Wellness Help Line | Phone & Chat | 24/7 
Immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention for all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Services offered in English and French, as well as Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut on request. 
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.).
Within North America Call: 1-844-451-9700
Outside North America Call: 001-416-380-6578
Download the App: MySSP (real-time chat)
Student Counselling Centre | by appointment (Currently Virtual) 
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.  
Email to schedule an appointment: 
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 

Educational Resources

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. 
Phone number: 613-237-4806  
Toll Free: 877-553-7177 
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. 
Phone: 1-844-944-4545 
Peoples and communities of relevance to the Great Lakes area of Southwestern Ontario and Michigan.
Books and videos on experiences at Residential Schools: fiction, biographies, and children's books only.
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


Turtle Island logo       Alumni Association Logo

 Office of Student Experience Logo   Office of the President Logo    Office of the Provost & Vice-President, Academic

Leddy Library Logo  Office of Enrolment Management logo

Thiessen's Orchards Logo   Veteran's Rights Law Group OPUS logo  Lancer Recreation logo    B.ide logo


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 BeaulieuExecutive 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.