Orange Shirt Day 2020

Message from Mayor Bill Mauro



What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day is born out of the legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC in 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission and has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools alive annually. 

This day is a time to remember the residential school experience and to honour the healing journey of survivors and their families. September 30 is a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter- Every Child Matters, even the spirit of that child if they are an adult now. 

To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, view the Orange Shirt Day video.

Orange Shirt Day – Every Child Matters

The City of Thunder Bay is committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Calls to Action and the Thunder Bay Anti-Racism and Inclusion Accord. In the spirit of reconciliation, the City joins others across the country to honour the Indigenous children sent away to residential schools in Canada by recognizing Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters annually on September 30.

September 30th has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm that the residential school system caused to Indigenous children's and as an expression of our commitment to reaffirm that every child matters.

This date was chosen because it is the time of year when Indigenous children were taken from their homes to residential schools, which harmed their identity and well-being. Orange Shirt Day provides an opportunity to express our commitment to reaffirm that every child matters. 

Order your commemorative orange t-shirt today


Resources and Contact

  • If you attended this year's Indian Horse film screening and/or virtual Sharing of Our Stories film discussion, please take some time to complete the Evaluation Form to share your feedback.
  • For more information, contact the Indigenous Liaison.


Indigenous reading list

Educating ourselves is a first step in learning and unlearning behaviours and to continue being part of the solution towards building a safe and inclusive community that we can all be proud of.

The Indigenous Reading List is a collaborative project between Indigenous Relations and Inclusion, City of Thunder Bay, Confederation College Library and Thunder Bay Public Library. The reading list is one methodology for which the aformentioned organizations are responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions' Call to Action #57 - Professional Development and Training for Public Servants and #2 Education and Reconciliation.

We hope that these selections will help in the learning journey and invite conversations in building new understandings.  

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