Orange Shirt Day Events at STU
This year, St. Thomas University will commemorate Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday, September 29 as campus is closed on September 30 to observe and reflect on the first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
On September 29, STU will acknowledge the day with a Reflection and Honouring Ceremony in the lower courtyard followed by a Student Panel Discussion on Orange Shirt Day, Residential Schools and Truth and Reconciliation. There will also be an information booth with resources about Orange Shirt Day and Residential Schools as well as an Orange Shirt Day Reflection Activity. See the schedule of events below.
We recently held other events and activities which are part of our Orange Shirt Day series, which included a moccasin making workshop and KAIROS blanket exercise.
Students, Faculty and Staff are encouraged to wear ORANGE on both September 29 & 30 to honour and show support for the children, survivors, families, and communities impacted by Canada’s residential school system.
Every Child Matters Pin Buttons are available at the Wabanaki Student Centre or by visiting the information booth in James Dunn Hall on the day of.
Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters
Orange Shirt is a national movement in Canada for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation to honour former residential school students whose families and communities have been impacted by the policies and actions of the Government of Canada and churches that operated the schools.
Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, BC in 2013 at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School commemoration event and has spread across the country. The name Orange Shirt Day honours survivor Phyllis Webstad's story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away from her on her first day of school at the Mission. The date of the annual event was chosen because it is the time of year that children were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools. Orange Shirt Day seeks to inspire Canadians to initiate anti-racism and anti-bullying initiatives in schools and the workplace.
The residential school era began in the early 1870s, with the last school closing in 1996. More than 150,000 Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit children attended these schools, with an estimated 80,000 survivors living today.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AT STU
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Information Booth & Reflection Activity – Orange Shirt Day & Residential Schools
11:00 am - 2:00 pm | Sir James Dunn Hall Cafeteria
An information booth with resources about Orange Shirt Day, Residential Schools, and Truth and Reconciliation will be available in the Sir James Dunn Hall Cafeteria from 11:00am to 2:00pm.
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to take part in an Orange Shirt Day Reflection Craft Activity which will be installed and displayed in the lower courtyard and at our Reflection Ceremony. This reflection activity gives members of the STU community an opportunity to reflect on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and the residential school system in a safe space. During this activity, students, faculty, and staff are invited to pick up an Orange Shirt card from the information booth. They are encouraged to fill this card with a personal reflection on the day’s topics. Once they’ve reflected, they can seal the card shut for privacy before adding it to the display.
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm | Lower Courtyard
The campus community is invited for a Reflection and Honouring Ceremony in the lower courtyard to honour the children, survivors, families, and communities impacted by Canada’s residential school system. The ceremony will include prayer, smudging, and song as well as words from the Senate Committee on Reconciliation and students.
Student Panel Discussion on Orange Shirt Day, Residential Schools, & Truth and Reconciliation
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm | Kinsella Auditorium - McCain Hall
Join the STUdent Reconciliation Committee and members of the STUSU at a Student Panel Discussion on Orange Shirt Day, Residential Schools, and Truth and Reconciliation in the Kinsella Auditorium starting at 3:00 pm.