Orange Shirt Day is observed annually on September 30th to honour Residential School Survivors and their families, and to remember those who did not make it. It was initially envisioned as a way to keep the conversations going about all aspects of Residential Schools in Williams Lake and the Cariboo Region of British Columbia, Canada. It has now expanded into a movement across Canada and beyond.

Orange Shirt Day was inspired by the story of a Residential School Survivor named Phyllis Webstad. When Phyllis was six years old she went to an Indian Residential School for the first time wearing a brand new “shiny orange shirt” bought by her Grandmother. When she arrived at the school her shirt was taken away, never to be worn again.

To Phyllis Webstad, the colour orange symbolized that she did not matter.

Today, she has learned to accept the colour, and even have fun with it, and now the orange shirt has instead become a symbol of hope and reconciliation. By wearing an orange shirt on Orange Shirt Day, you make a powerful statement that Residential Schools were wrong, and you commit to the concept that EVERY CHILD MATTERS.

The book is designed as a textbook for students in Grades 5 and older, but it is an excellent resource for parents and the general public as well. Our publisher, Medicine Wheel Education, also has an optional companion teacher resource for those teachers looking for more information about how to use the book with their students.

15% of the book proceeds go to the Orange Shirt Society to help support our work.