Join us for Orange Shirt Day on September 30

September 16, 2019

In 1973, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad was six years old and about to enter residential school. Her grandmother had bought her a shiny new orange shirt to wear, but on her first day at school, she was stripped and all her clothes were taken away, including her new orange shirt. The worthlessness and insignificance that she was made to feel that day remained with her and continued to impact her for many years to come.

In sharing her story, Phyllis has helped open the door to meaningful discussion on the effects of residential schools and their legacy. Orange Shirt Day on September 30 was created as a day to reaffirm that every child matters, even if they are now an adult.

SFU recognizes that for Indigenous people in Canada, post-secondary education has been deeply scarred by a history of colonialism, racism and residential schooling. Each year at SFU, Orange Shirt Day commemorates the residential school experience, and provides an opportunity to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. 

Join SFU Continuing Studies at SFU’s Vancouver campus on Monday, September 30 and wear orange to show your support. From noon to 1:30 p.m., we’ll host a special event in the Teck Gallery. Come enjoy a performance by JB the First Lady, a Vancouver-based hip-hop/spoken-word artist, beat-boxer, cultural dancer and educator from the Nuxalk and Onondaga Nations. Plus, we’ll be serving coffee, tea and bannock.

Need an orange shirt? Pick up a free Orange Shirt Day T-shirt, courtesy of SFU Vancouver. T-shirts will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on Friday, September 27 from 9 a.m. to noon in the lobby of our Harbour Centre campus, while supplies last.

Learn more about #OrangeShirtDay at