Phyllis (Jack) Webstad was six years old on her first day of school at St. Joseph Mission in Williams Lake, BC. Phyllis’s grandmother had saved up to buy her a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school. Upon arrival at the school, Phyllis’s new shirt was stripped from her and never returned.
Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis’s story, beginning in 2013 at the residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake that year. It is now a nation-wide event held every year on September 30th.
“The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”
- Phyllis Webstad
On Monday September 30th, wear an orange shirt to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
Activities throughout the day include:
Group photo of those on campus wearing their Orange Shirts - 11:45am in the Winter Garden
Films by contemporary Indigenous filmmakers rotating in The Gathering Place (5-123)
10:00am and 1:00pm - Feature Film
Our People Will Be Healed  by Alanis Obomsawin (97mins)
12:00pm and 3:00pm - Short Films
Clouds of Autumn  by Trevor Mack & Matthew Taylor Blais (15mins)
Etlinisigu'niet (Bleed Down)  by Jeff Barnaby (5mins)
Sisters & Brothers  by Kent Monkman (3mins)
Holy Angels  by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve (13mins)