Honour the experiences of residential school survivors by joining a University-wide event to recognize Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. Students, librarians, faculty members, and staff can register to attend this event in person or watch the live stream.
The University of Toronto will commemorate the day on Friday, September 29th with remarks from Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President & Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga, and Rose Patten, Chancellor, University of Toronto, in the Great Hall at Hart House. David Kim, Warden, Hart House, will host the commemoration.
Following those remarks, Grant Hurley, Canadiana Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Mikayla Redden, Information Services & Instruction Librarian, New College Library, and Desmond Wong, Outreach Librarian, OISE Library, will engage in a panel discussion on making Residential School Survivors' stories accessible at the University of Toronto Libraries. Angela Henshilwood, Head, Engineering & Computer Science Library, is moderating the discussion.
Orange Shirt Day has been observed on September 30th annually for several years. In June 2021, the Federal Government passed legislation in 2021 formally recognizing September 30th as the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.
Visit the University of Toronto's PSEC page for more information about Orange Shirt Day, including more ways to participate virtually and purchasing an Orange Shirt Day shirt designed by MJ Singleton.
If you require any accessibility accommodation(s), please email [email protected], or call 416-978-8587, and we will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.
David Kim, Warden, Hart House
Land Acknowledgement & Welcome Remarks
Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President & Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga
Greetings from the Chancellor
Rose Patten, Chancellor, University of Toronto
Audience Dialogue with Panelists
Warden, Hart House
David Kim was appointed Warden, Hart House on June 5, 2023. His contributions and involvement at the University of Toronto are extensive, and his history with the House goes back over 25 years. He has been an active participant of the Hart House Board of Stewards for several years, and has had a strong connection to the House from his time as a U of T student to the present day.
David has been working at U of T since 2007. He began in the area of residence and student life, after having worked in science research and some time abroad in the field of education. Prior to his leadership role at Hart House, he was Dean of Residence & Director of Student Life for Spaces & Experiences. Here, he oversaw the admissions, student services and residence life operations for Chestnut Residence, Graduate House, Chelsea Residence and Knox College. In this capacity, he gained vital experience in facilities management, capital planning, managing ancillary budgets, training and development, student support and working with his teams in the planning and delivery of programming activities and events. An active member of several University committees and governance bodies, including the International Student Experience Advisory Committee and the Positive Space Committee, David is also a lecturer in OISE’s Master of Education program.
He holds a PhD in Higher Education from OISE.
Vice-President & Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga
Alexandra Gillespie is Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal at U of T Mississauga, where she has had the privilege to teach as a professor of global book history for the past twenty years.
As Vice-President and Principal, Alex champions the university’s priorities and works to build reciprocal relationships across our Mississauga and Peel communities. She’s deeply committed to realizing U of T’s promise: to remain North America’s top public university for the employability of our graduates and to give all our students the lift of a lifetime. And she’s proud to be part of a UTM community where some of the best students, faculty, and staff in the world work to make the world a better place.
Chancellor, University of Toronto
Rose Patten is the 34th Chancellor of the University of Toronto, where she is also Executive in Residence and Adjunct Professor in executive leadership programs at the Rotman School of Management, a member of Massey College, and a distinguished former Chair of the Governing Council. Currently Special Advisor to the CEO and Senior Executives at BMO Financial Group, she is well known from her 30-year career as a senior leader in the Canadian financial services industry, and has extensive experience as an advisor in the fields of senior leadership development and succession, strategy execution, and governance, in corporate and community settings. Among many other awards and distinctions, she holds an honorary degree from the University of Toronto, and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, a Member of the Order of Ontario, and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Head, Engineering & Computer Science Library
Angela Henshilwood is a settler of Scottish/Irish decent, originally from Kitchener, which is on Treaty 4 land. Angela is currently the Head of the Engineering & Computer Science Library, but she has been an engineering librarian at U of T since 2014. Angela lives nearby with her husband and 6-year-old son on land that was part of the Toronto Purchase.
Outreach Librarian, OISE Library
Desmond is a Chinese Canadian settler living in Mississauga of the Credit River Territory (Toronto). As a librarian, he works with the Indigenous students, faculty, and staff at the University of Toronto. He is interested in solidarity and relational accountability between Asian diaspora and other Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Colour. He believes that working towards Land Back and Indigenous Nationhoods is the only way to be in good relations on these Lands and towards collective liberation.
Canadiana Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Grant Hurley is a settler librarian and archivist who works at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, the University of Toronto Libraries. He is responsible for curating the library’s extensive collections documenting the diverse experiences, histories, and cultural life on the lands associated with Canada. Grant also serves as a Sessional Instructor for the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. In 2021, he was awarded the Archives Association of Ontario’s Alexander Fraser Award for exceptional service to the archival community and the MISC Outstanding Instructor Award for excellence in teaching.
Information Services & Instruction Librarian, New College Library
Mikayla Redden is a mixed race woman: Anishinaabe and Anglo settler heritage. She is a granddaughter, daughter, sister, auntie, helper, and learner. She lives and works on the Tkaronto Purchase but was born and raised on Treaty 20. Though she is a member of Curve Lake First Nation, she was not raised in the community. Her great-grandfather is John 'Jack' Jacobs. Jack was married to her great-grandmother, Edith Marsden of Scugog First Nation. Jack enfranchised himself and his children under section 214 of the Indian Act in March of 1935. This means that they relinquished their Indian identities and assimilated into white settler society. Her family began reconnecting in the 1990s. She has the privilege of walking in two worlds; learning from her relations on and off-reserve, both urban and rural, traditional and contemporary, and is able to apply pieces of those knowledges to her work life, as a librarian at New College. She is passionate about storytelling, anti-racist pedagogies, and amplifying the voices of Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour.
The Story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad
Orange Shirt Day is based on the story of Phyllis Webstad, who in 1973, entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School at the age of six. She was stripped of the orange shirt she was wearing and forced to wear the institutional uniform.
September 30 was chosen to mark the date when trucks and buses would arrive in communities to take children to residential schools. These schools operated in Canada between 1831 and 1996.
Learn more about Phyllis (Jack) Webstad.
- The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization that provides essential services to residential school survivors and families experiencing intergenerational trauma.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations.
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.