St. Paul’s comes together on Orange Shirt Day

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

St. Paul's staff and faculty wearing orange

St. Paul's staff and faculty on Teams, recognizing Orange Shirt day virtually. 

A sea of orange overtook hallways and screens today, with staff, students and faculty joining virtually and in-person to recognize Orange Shirt Day.

Wearing an orange shirt on this day is a small but meaningful gesture with great significance.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School commemoration event held in British Columbia in 2013. It grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her new orange shirt taken from her on her first day of school at the Mission and has become an opportunity to promote meaningful discussion on all aspects of residential schools and its impacts. It brings together local governments, Indigenous leaders, schools and communities in reconciliation.

It’s important to remember history to ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes,” said Richard Myers, principal. “Orange Shirt Day is a chance to say, ‘we’re on your side and we support you.’”

At St. Paul’s we house the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) and provide leadership across the University of Waterloo and greater Waterloo Region on Indigenous historic and contemporary issues.

“We recognize that educational opportunities aren’t just what happens in the classroom, but they are also the teaching that we do in our hallways and through casual conversations,” said Lori Campbell, WISC director. “Wearing our orange shirts is a visible conversation starter and it is one of the ways that the St. Paul’s team shows its commitment to educating ourselves and others about Indigenous issues.”

To learn more, please visit the Orange Shirt Day website.