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Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Society Logo

Orange Shirt Society

The Orange Shirt Society (Society) is a non-profit organization with its home in Williams Lake, BC where Orange Shirt Day began in 2013. The Orange Shirt Society was founded by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad and others who are no longer on our Board. We have both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Staff and Board Members.

The purposes of our Society are as follows:

  • To support Indian Residential School Reconciliation
  • To create awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of Indian Residential Schools through Orange Shirt Society activities
  • To create awareness of the concept of "Every Child Matters".

Mount Elgin Industrial Institute

Chippewas of the Thames First Nation was home to an Indian Residential School from 1841 to 1949 called the Mt. Elgin Industrial Institute.


Chippewa Orange Shirt

Gawii Wiikaa Ga-Nendimisii - Never, Ever Forget Me

Chippewa of the Thames is working on a Save the barn campaign.  The goal is to create a space for museum to be created.


Mount Elgin Industrial Institute

A barn is the last standing remnant of the school.  Etchings found on the walls further tell the children’s stories who lived there.  See a short video by the London Free Press about the etchings.



Gawii Wiikaa Ga-Nendimisii - Never, Ever Forget Me

A monument was erected in 2012.  Each stone pillar contains names of children who attended Mt. Elgin Industrial Institute, otherwise known as the “Mushhole.”

Children attended from all over Ontario and Michigan.

There are seven pillars, one for each of the Anishinaabe Seven Grandfather Teachings; Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility and Wisdom.

In 2013, statues made of bronze by Chippewa artist, Nancy Deleary of a boy student and girl student of Mt. Elgin Industrial Institute was erected at the community’s center.

This statue was in remembrance  of Chippewa, Munsee and Oneida students specifically who attended the school and the many children who never made it home.


National Centre for Truth and Reconcillation (NCTR)

NCTR is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations. Please visit for more information.


Why Do We Wear Orange On September 30?

To honour those who survived residential schools and to remember those who did not.

To stand in solidarity with Indigenous Community.

Phyllis Webstad - On Orange Shirt Day

Phyllis Webstad explains the story of her experience at Residential School and the origination of Orange Shirt Day in Canada. She discusses the present situation and her hopes for the future..

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