September 21, 2018

Royal Saskatchewan Museum Commemorates Orange Shirt Day

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is hosting several events to recognize national Orange Shirt Day, which commemorates the experiences of residential school victims and honours the survivors and their families.

“Our province is committed to achieving reconciliation, and Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity to reflect on the past and ensure these stories are passed on to future generations,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minster Gene Makowsky said.  “The events at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum will give people a stronger understanding of the hardship and suffering that many children experienced.”

Orange Shirt Day was inspired by Phyllis Webstad, an Indigenous woman who was not able to wear her orange shirt in the fall of 1973.  She was six years old when she was stripped of her shirt on her first day of school in Williams Lake, BC.  Since September 30, 2013, Canadians have been wearing orange on this day as a symbol of support and hope for those impacted by the lasting effects of residential schools and to serve as a reminder that every child matters.

Leading up to Orange Shirt Day on September 30, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is hosting a series of programs that are open to the public.

September 28 - Commemorate the survivors of the Residential School System with a 10-minute film “Little Moccasins” at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  The film follows a group of Calgary school children who learn about the lives of Indigenous children who attended Dunbow Residential School.  Life Speaker Noel Starblanket will be in attendance at the screening and will speak of his own experiences as a survivor.  Participants will receive an Orange Shirt Day T-shirt, while supplies last.

September 29 - Watch “Elder in the Making”, a film which portrays the journey of a Chinese Canadian newcomer and a Blackfoot man as they travel across traditional Blackfoot territory.  Together they rediscover their shared heritage and begin the long road of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.  Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the film begins at 6:30 p.m.  A discussion with director Chris Hsiung and Life Speaker Noel Starblanket will follow.  The evening will conclude with a reception in the lobby, catered by Dickie the Sioux Chef.

September 30 - The Royal Saskatchewan Museum will present the documentary “RIIS from Amnesia” telling the story of the Regina Indian Industrial School at 1 p.m.  One of the directors, Janine Windolph, will be present to speak on the experience, along with Life Speaker Noel Starblanket.  Participants will receive an Orange Shirt Day T-shirt, while supplies last.

For more details on these events and more, visit