Orange Shirt Day 2020

Harbourfront Centre School Visits is committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. To this end, we launched two new Indigenous Studies programs in Fall 2019 – 7 Gifts and Exploring Our Treaties. As we continue to explore ways to build meaningful educational content around these topics, we present a multi-disciplinary approach to Orange Shirt Day for the 2020 school year.

On September 30, we recognize the impact and intergenerational legacy of Residential Schools on First Nation, Métis and Inuit populations – along with their families and communities – in Canada.

The activities and resources that we have developed in consultation with Indigenous community members, artists, authors and Harbourfront Centre staff will help you build a deeper understanding of Residential Schools and help contextualize Orange Shirt Day.

We hope these resources will support you in delivering meaningful lessons on Residential Schools and opening dialogue with your students as we pause and reflect on September 30.

Please note: some of the program content contains subject matter that may be disturbing to some visitors, especially to Survivors of the Residential School System. Please call the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1 866 925 4419 if you or someone you know is triggered by the contents.

Orange Shirt Day Teachers Resource Guide

Program Resources

Teacher’s Resource Guide: includes sample lesson plans, activities and glossary of terms.

Student Manipulatives Guide: includes easy-to-print documents that will support student learning and the lesson plans in the Teacher’s Resource Guide.

Author Interview with David A. Robertson


David A. Robertson is an award-winning writer. His books include When We Were Alone (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award), Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award), Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story, and the YA trilogy, The Reckoner (winner of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Fiction, McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People). Robertson educates as well as entertains through his writings about Indigenous Peoples in Canada, reflecting their cultures, histories, communities, as well as illuminating many contemporary issues. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.

Artist Talk with Brian Kon


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brian Kon moved to Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1996, where he continues to live today. Kon has become an internationally recognized visual artist from the Métis community. His style of art is called Dot Art (Bead Art Painting), which is a modern version of traditional beadwork created by Métis people. Each “bead” is applied as a single dot of paint to create the images in his art. Many of the designs in Kon’s paintings can be traced to beadwork found on historic clothing and possessions of Métis people. In addition to painting, Kon enjoys photography and sketching. He also makes traditional Métis clothing using materials and techniques once used by Métis fur traders in the 1700s and 1800s. Samples of his works can be seen when he attends both traditional and non-traditional Indigenous ceremonies.

Orange Shirt Day Craft Tutorial


Marissa Magneson is the Artist Services and Indigenous Resource Coordinator at Harbourfront Centre. She has a BFA (Honours) degree from York University, and is currently working towards an MA in Canadian and Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Magneson is a Cree-Métis artist, photographer and workshop facilitator who works with a number of Urban Indigenous communities in Tkaronto. For samples of her work, please visit her website or @MagnesonStudios / @MarissaMagnesonPhotography on Instagram.