Every Child Matters

Classroom Resources and Activities:

Every day is Orange Shirt Day:

3 Crows Productions takes you on a visual journey of what Orange Shirt Day means to them. Elders and Residential School Survivors Cyril Pierre and Joseph Ginger return to the grounds of St. Mary’s Indian Residential School located in Mission, BC. Indigenous storytellers Dallas Yellowfly and Alysha Collie accompany them. They explain why Orange Shirt Day is Everyday, and why this day is so important. Their messages aim to bring hope to future generations of youth, educators and communities. The Orange Shirt featured in the video is created by our own Indigenous artist Alysha Collie. For more information about 3 Crows Productions, visit our website: https://www.3crowsproductions.com/ 

Xyólheméylh recognition of Orange Shirt Day:

“Today is Orange Shirt Day, a day when we honor the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and we are reminded of the shameful and cruel part of Canada’s history and the terrible legacy that resulted.

Between the 1860s and the 1990s, approximately 150,000 Métis, Inuit and First Nations children were sent to residential schools. The children were removed from their families, forced to speak English or French instead of their ancestral languages, and disconnected from their culture and traditions. Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis Webstad to educate people about residential schools and fight racism and bullying. When Phyllis was a child, she was given a new orange shirt by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British  Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned.

To Phyllis, the colour orange reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”

Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis to educate people about residential schools and fight racism and bullying and to emphasize that Every Child Matters.

At Xyólheméylh we deal with the impact of colonialism and residential schools, and the intergenerational pain that has resulted. Every day we work with the impacts of this legacy but are also reminded of the resiliency of Indigenous people. On Orange Shirt Day we encourage all staff and caregivers to wear orange, and to attend an event, perhaps virtually this year.

We have prepared a video to commemorate the day with a few of our Elders that we hope you watch:”

  • September 29th, 2020 2:00pm

Zoom Webinar: A Conversation with Phyllis Webstad

Link to participate: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UPxh8td3Sa2UFQ7M1W2PTA


Listen in as Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley from the Orange Shirt Day present their new book – Orange Shirt Day. Please find a link to a publicly shared conversation with Residential school survivor and founder of Orange Shirt Day, Phyllis Webstad and Cariboo Regional Area F director Joan Sorley (56 minutes).

It is a Facebook link (it is not yet available on other video platforms).

The NFB is proud to partner with Every Child Matters, an online youth event that honours Residential School Survivors, their families and communities. This virtual event provides an opportunity to learn first hand from Residential School Survivors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists and leaders from nations and cultures across the country.

Designed for students in Grades 5 through 12, this virtual event provides an opportunity to learn first hand from Residential School Survivors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists and leaders from nations and cultures across the country. Educators can select the events they wish to livestream for their students and download free educational resources.  Click here to register your class.

Produced in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Written by award-winning Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, this magazine, which is based on the Seven Sacred Teachings, is aimed for students in grades 5–12 and is available in both English and French.

Each lesson is based on one of the seven teachings, reminding all of us that love, truth, wisdom, humility, courage, respect, and honesty truly matter. It is our hope that these lessons help you and your students live out these teachings, in your classrooms, in your actions, and in your everyday lives.


Click on the image below to access the lesson plans:

“Canadian Residential Schools: The Survivors & Their Descendants”

(Educators: Please preview first. Best suited for high school students.)

This 22 minute video shares the history of Residential Schools as well as the impact that continues to be experienced by their descendants today in an enlightening and engaging manner that students can relate to.  We have also included a music video by N’we Jinan Artists that was written and recorded by youth from Opchapowace First Nation, Saskatchewan.

The Ballantyne Project was founded in April 2019 by Dwight Ballantyne, a 25 year old Indigenous man who spent his first 21 years growing up in a remote northern Saskatchewan First Nation.  His mission is to bring awareness to Canadians about life in remote Indigenous communities by sharing his personal experiences in order to bring attention to this segment of our nation that rarely makes it into textbooks, popular media or social conversation.


Project of Heart Canoe:

Ready-made lessons to launch and inspire
















For Educators:

Residential School Resources, Orange Shirt Day September 30, 2020






MPSD Resources:

  • Peggy Janicki, Indigenous Mentor Teacher, has shared a folder of documents pertaining to residential schools.  (Internal to SD75 educators.)  I.R.S. Indian Residential School


  • A friendly reminder that all School Libraries in Mission School District have BCTF’s “Nlaka’pamux Blanket Exercise” and all materials included.

Found inside “Gladys We Never Knew” e-book.