WCH CONNECTSeptember 23, 2019

Supporting Orange Shirt Day

  • September 23, 2019

In honour of Women’s College Hospital’s commitment to endorse the National Centre For Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR, formerly TRC) calls-to-action, the WCH Indigenous Health Education Group (IHEG) is working with recognized allies within our hospital towards meaningful, impactful and authentic modes of cultural sensitivity training, education and reconciliatory projects. Together, we commemorate the ancestors and survivors of the residential school system and sixties scoop, by recognizing September 30th as National Truth and Reconciliation Day | Orange Shirt Day.

Members of the IHEG Group will have a resource packed info table in the Atrium (foyer) from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Sept. 30th), with Sam Mukwa, representative from an (IHEG) fledgling community partner, The Downie Wenjack Fund.


What is Orange Shirt Day?

“... is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project, opening the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is an opportunity for all communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations to come.

... several provincial governments have proclaimed Orange Shirt Day, and in March of 2019, the Government of Canada passed a bill designating September 30th National Truth and Reconciliation Day. Unfortunately, that bill died in the Senate.”
excerpts from the Orange Shirt Day website

Resource Toolkit
This day also marks the WCH Indigenous Cancer Screening Program, and all of us have an opportunity to participate in raising awareness and relearning of our collective history and show our Indigenous community members (peers, patients, learners) that we care, we’re learning and that we support them. We can be humble leaders in our inclusivity and equity endeavors. Providing opportunities and resources for our healthcare leaders and learners to further their journey to being culturally inclusive and sensitive practitioners and talk about unconscious bias in safe and kind ways; are key to being cognizant of how the social determinants of health for Indigenous (marginalized) peoples overlaps intersecting social identities.

Click here to learn more about the personal story of survivor Phyllis Webstad’s experience in the Mission school and her orange shirt — an integral part of this legacy honouring movement.

Join Us
Monday, September 30, 2019
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Peter Gilgan Atrium
If you would like to purchase an orange shirt — or a few for your department — you may do so through any of these organizations:
Northern Ontario School of Medicine 
Woodland Cultural Centre – Save The Evidence Campaign 
Orange Shirt Day Org – Every Child Matters Campaign

Fully affiliated with

A member of

Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)