5 Ways to Observe Orange Shirt Day This Year

5 ways to observe orange shirt day

5 Ways to Observe Orange Shirt Day This Year

Orange Shirt Day is a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to Residential Schools in Canada. It’s also a day to learn more about the history of those schools and the lasting impact they have left on Indigenous communities today. Here are 5 ways that you can observe Orange Shirt Day with us this year.

1. Attend an Orange Shirt Day event.

Engage learners in the Orange Shirt Day story and message through events featuring Indigenous Voices sharing from their own stories and experiences.

Our 2023 Orange Shirt Day event features award-winning author David A. Robertson! During this 45-minute event, David will read his book When We Were Alone and lead us in a brief, child-friendly discussion on the themes of Orange Shirt Day and Truth & Reconciliation. While this event is specifically designed for students in Grades 1-4, everyone is welcome!

Join the Livestream on Tuesday, September 26th at 9:30am PT or catch the recording at a time that works for you. For more details and to register, click here. 

2. Learn about Indigenous art, culture, and language.

Indigenous children were not allowed to speak their language at Residential Schools. They were also not at home in their communities to learn their traditions, stories, or culture.

Our Indigenous Voices series of events and resources highlights the work of Indigenous authors, artists, and educators and provides a platform for them to share their culture with students all across Canada. Over the past 2 years,  we have had the privilege of hosting 15 Coast Salish Art classes with Andrea Fritz.  In each session, Andrea shares a traditional story, guides us in drawing an animal, and teaches us a few Hul’qumi’num words as we go!

You can find all Coast Salish Art lessons on-demand here.

3. Read picture books written by Indigenous authors.

One of the best ways to approach difficult topics is through picture books.

There are so many great books written by Indigenous authors that gently address the history and legacy of Residential Schools.  Our Orange Shirt Day virtual classroom is filled with read-aloud books, and printable resources for students to explore at home or in the classroom. We recommend you preview all videos to ensure they are appropriate for your learners. 

Check out all the books in our Orange Shirt Day virtual classroom here. 

4. Dive deeper with engaging lessons and activities.

The messages of Truth & Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day are so important and can be explored in different ways and on many levels.

We have created a collection of teaching resources to help you dive deeper into the Orange Shirt Day story. Our free Orange Shirt Day Resource Package includes lesson plans, student pages, and colouring sheets in both English and French. 

Take a look at the entire collection here. 

5. Make a plan to continue the conversation.

Orange Shirt Day isn’t just a one-day event to check off your list. It involves listening, learning, reflecting, and acting all year round.

Truth and Reconciliation is an ongoing process. Make a plan for how you’ll continue the conversation in your class this year. Our Indigenous Voices series of events and resources can be used throughout the year to bring Indigenous learning into the classroom.  

You can find all our Indigenous Voices resources here. 

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