Orange Shirt Day / National Day For Truth and Reconciliation

Tansi, Oki, Âba wathtech, Taanishi, Tawnshi, Dadanist’ada, Edlanet’e, Hello, Bonjour

Orange Shirt Day serves as an annual time to reflect on the history and legacy of residential schools. Originating from Phyllis Webstad’s account of her first day at St. Joseph Mission residential school where her new orange shirt, a reminder of home, was taken, this day is an acknowledgement of Canada’s past and time to hold hope for a future where Every Child Matters. Effective June 2021, Orange Shirt Day is now recognised as a statutory holiday in Canada: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 

Continuing into the 1990s, mandatory residential schooling in Canada extracted Indigenous children from their homes and communities, depriving them of their culture, traditions and language. Twenty five residential schools were located in the province of Alberta. 

This webpage and the resources available here focus on the Treaty Areas, Métis Regions, and Inuit Peoples situated in the province of Alberta and was made possible by grant funding from Alberta Education. We, the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC) are guided in this work by a Partner Circle of Elders and Knowledge Keepers living in the province of Alberta.

Designed to support the educators in the province of Alberta, this webpage provides educator professional learning and lessons for use in classroom programming, including:


Find and register for ARPDC’s Orange Shirt Day/ National Day of Truth and Reconciliation professional learning events, including:

  • Professional learning and  traditional teachings for  adults who work with youth in schools during the week before Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth  and Reconciliation
  • Beyond Orange Shirt Day Collaborative Communities to continue professional learning in the months following Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

You can find upcoming ARPDC First Nations, Métis and Inuit professional learning events here


ARPDC is pleased to provide pre-recorded teachings and ceremonies for schools to access during their Orange Shirt Day/ National Day for Truth and Reconciliation programming, including:

  • Opening Prayer and Smudging Ceremony from Elder Wilson Bearhead 
  • Opening Teaching from Elder Wilson Bearhead
  • Virtual Tours and Traditional Teachings from Indigenous sacred spaces located in the province of Alberta
  • Language Education 
  • Closing Circle Guide for classroom use

Created in partnership with Elders and Knowledge Keepers living in Alberta, this professional learning resource centres on the people who live in Treaties 6, 7 and 8, as well as Métis and Inuit peoples. PD Playlists will be released monthly in the 2021-22 school year and will include:

  • Testimonials from Indigenous peoples with supporting activities to guide professional conversations and/or personal reflection about the past
  • Activities and information to support educator foundational knowledge of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples living in the province of Alberta
  • Information about Indigenous contemporary artists, business and local locations to visit while you continue your personal path to understanding
  • Examples of how schools across the province are incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being

Access K to 12 lesson plans and classroom activities to engage your students in learning that explores the history and legacy of residential schools in age appropriate ways and invites Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being into the classroom including:

  • K-12 lesson plans for use during the week before Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth  and Reconciliation
  • Monthly pre-recorded teachings from Elders that provide answers to student  submitted questions
  • The Student Infographic Poster Activity and Giveaway Contest