At NIC, we recognize that as an educational institution we have a responsibility to honour, respect and support Indigenous cultures and identities as we move towards a future of reconciliation and hope. Annually, September 30 has been recognized as Orange Shirt Day, and as a community, we are continuing to build upon this day to listen to the stories of survivors and understand the impact of residential schools across Canada throughout the week of September 27- 30, 2021.
This year, September 30 is also designated federally as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is being recognized nationally as an opportunity for all to acknowledge the impact of residential schools, and as such, NIC campuses are closed to give all NIC community members the opportunity to engage in their own personal way to honour truth and reconciliation.
“Today is a day to honour and remember residential school survivors and their families. We must also remember those children that never made it and are no long with us. Today is a day for survivors to tell their stories and for us to listen with open hearts.” - Phyllis Webstad, creator of Orange Shirt Day.
- Wear an Orange Shirt Day t-shirt
- Orange Shirt Day t-shirts are available for purchase at NIC Bookstores and they are also available for free for students from NISU at Orange Shirt Day tables (while supplies last)
- NIC Bookstores have Orange Shirt Day t-shirts featuring a design by Tsm’syen artist, Morgan Asoyuf, purchased from an Indigenous-owned company, Native Northwest. Partial proceeds go to the Orange Shirt Society & BC Aboriginal Child Care Association. NISU has purchased Orange Shirt Day t-shirts featuring a design by Andy Everson, a K’ómoks/Kwakwaka’wakw/Tlingit/Salish artist. The shirts have been printed and purchased from the Waichay Group, a screen printing studio within the traditional lands of the K’ómoks First Nation.
- Visit an Orange Shirt Day Table at your campus to take part in the Hands and Hearts activity, learn more about NIC and community resources and pick up an Orange Shirt Day t-shirt (for students)
- A partnership activity hosted by NISU, in partnership with NIC Student Life and NIC Indigenous Education
- Comox Valley: Tuesday, September 28 from 11:30 am- 2 pm at Tyee Hall
- Campbell River: Wednesday, September 29 from 11:30am – 1:30pm at the Student Commons
- Port Alberni: Wednesday, September 29 from 11:30 am- 12:30 pm at Tebo, main entrance and 1:00 pm -2:00 pm at Roger Street, main entrance
The NIC Orange Shirt Day profile frames are available on Facebook. Instagram frames are available here: story frame | post frame.
Listen to Survivors' Stories
"A Survivor is not just someone who “made it through” the schools, or “got by” or was “making do.” A Survivor is a person who persevered against and overcame adversity. The word came to mean someone who emerged victorious, though not unscathed, whose head was “bloody but unbowed.” It referred to someone who had taken all that could be thrown at them and remained standing at the end. It came to mean someone who could legitimately say “I am still here!” For that achievement, Survivors deserve our highest respect. But, for that achievement, we also owe them the debt of doing the right thing. Reconciliation is the right thing to do, coming out of this history."
Excerpt from The Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Read “The Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”
Read about NIC Elder in Residence and Nursing Instructor Evelyn Voyageur's experience in the St. Michael's Residential School in Alert Bay.
Phyllis Webstad - Orange Shirt Day Presentation
Eddy Charlie shares. Eddy is a residential school survivor who started Victoria Orange Shirt Day. Watch his video.
Take Part in a Community Event
Join a virtual event from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
History of Orange Shirt Day
The Story of Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day: How Phyllis Webstad's 1st day at residential school inspired a movement
Resources for Survivors
- Counselling and support resources for NIC students
- Book a counselling appointment
- Note: if this is an emergency, or you need to speak to someone outside of regular office hours, please call 911, Here2Talk: 1-877-857-3397 (24/7 free student counselling service) or the Vancouver Crisis Line (24/7) 1-888-494-3888
Healing and wellness resources from the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre
Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS)
- Includes grief and loss counselling, crisis counselling, trauma counselling, family and group counselling and other supports including Traditional Healing Methods & Medicines
- IRSSS Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 (Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
NIC Initiatives & Stories
Centre for Applied Research, Technology & Innovation (CARTI)
Metal Jewellery Design