About Orange Shirt Day
The unofficial day has been observed since 2013 and is called Orange Shirt Day in memory of a piece of clothing then-six-year-old Phyllis Webstad had taken from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973.
The former Mission, B.C. residential school student had gone to school wearing a brand new bright orange T-shirt from her grandmother. When Webstad got to school, educators forced her to remove the clothing in favour of mandatory uniforms.
In 2017, Georgina Jolibois, an NDP MP from Saskatchewan, sought to make Orange Shirt Day an official holiday focused on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and introduced a private member’s bill.
September 30th has now been made a federal government holiday in Canada, called Truth and Reconciliation Day.