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Teaching Toolkit: Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2021

Orange shirt day pin made by indigenous artist with wood in the background

Sep 20, 2021

On September 30, we remember and recognize the survivors of residential schools with Orange Shirt Day; considering also important themes like Truth and Reconciliation. OPL is proud to honor the Every Child Matters movement and mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The subject is important to discuss with people of all ages, including children. This Teaching Toolkit will help you find resources in several formats for children and teens. Please review the material to discern if it is age-appropriate for your youth before sharing with them. 

Teaching Tools 

There are many teaching resources available online. To begin, see an explanation of what Orange Shirt Day is. Get guidance from the founders of Orange Shirt Day with their teacher resources and extended resources. And open these links for Orange Shirt Day classroom resources for grades 5-7, and also some activities.  

Truth and Reconciliation is also important to discuss. This teaching tool includes links to lesson plans for preschool-age to grade 12. Consider this very helpful poster, and further resources on the subject.  

The OPL has many more Indigenous resources on a wide range of topics.  Find them on our Indigenous page and our National Day for Truth and Reconciliation blog.    


Audio and visual aids may help the children in your life understand the importance of Orange Shirt Day. This podcast by Warrior Kids explains Orange Shirt Day in a kid-friendly way. An all-ages video may help if you’re addressing children of many age groups at once. With some trigger warnings, you may want to consider this first-hand-account-meets-cartoon-explanation of Truth and Reconciliation, as well as this interview with junior high children.  


On September 28, we invite children to join us for Orange Shirt Day Assembly: Live Stories with Christine Sioui Wawanoloath, a Wendat Abenaki author and artist. Join us at 12:45 pm for the English program and at 1:45 pm for the French program. The programs will be live streamed on our OPL Facebook page, and the recordings will stay until October 5. 

To discover resources in French, consult our Boîte à outils pédagogique : Journée du chandail orange et Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation.  


Click on the Further Reading link to look through our Bilingual Orange Shirt Day booklist for children.