Orange Shirt Day - A Message from the AVP, Diversity & Human Rights


At the University of Guelph, we aim to Improve Life. This means creating an equitable, inclusive, and supportive environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. 

September 30th marks Orange Shirt Day, an occasion to honour the Indigenous children and families who suffered through the painful experiences of the residential school system in Canada. It is also a time to actively engage in reconciliation practices within our communities and work together to create a better future for everyone. Acknowledging our history on these lands is an important starting point, as it explains much of the systemic discrimination and puts us all on a path to lasting change.

Orange Shirt Day asks us to confront the harsh truth about residential schools and recognize the deep harm caused to generations of indigenous families.

The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996, but the impacts of this system continue today. Anti-Indigenous racism is real, it’s systemic, and it continues to create barriers to full participation within our communities.

This Orange Shirt Day, remember that every child matters and honour the survivors of residential schools and commit to improving life.  

To learn more about Orange Shirt Day visit

- Indira Naidoo-Harris, AVP Diversity & Human Rights