A member of the Capilano community wears an orange shirt to mark Orange Shirt Day in 2019 (photo: Tae Hoon Kim/Capilano University)

In the days leading up to September 30, the Capilano Students’ Union has changed the colour of our web presence to help spread awareness about Orange Shirt Day.

What is Orange Shirt Day?

In 1973, Phyllis Webstad’s grandmother gave her a new orange shirt to wear to her first day of school.

Phyllis, aged six at the time, felt excited to dress up and wore her new orange shirt with pride. Unfortunately, that first day of school was at St. Joseph Mission, a residential school for Indigenous children. Upon arrival, Phyllis’ beloved new shirt was taken away and she was forced to remain at the school for 300 more days.

Inspired by Phyllis’ story, survivors of the residential school system are honoured and remembered by those observing Orange Shirt Day, which takes place every September 30. You can honour Orange Shirt Day by taking the first steps towards reconciliation by making yourself aware of the history of the residential school system.


Take some time to review the resources below and share with family and friends.

Phyllis Webstad’s story
Phyllis shares the story of Orange Shirt Day in her own words.

Residential School History
This page includes a review of the history of residential schools as well as Orange Shirt Day.

Eddy Charlie’s story
Orange Shirt Day Victoria organizer and residential school survivor Eddy Charlie shares his experience.