Orange Shirt Project


The Orange Shirt Project

  • is a collaborative effort to create an orange shirt or sweater that recognises each child who went to residential school but did not return to their families.
  • is one way to acknowledge the loss and pain experienced by Indigenous people while looking towards a healing.
  • provides an ongoing invitation to witness the truth about how many, to come to understand, and then begin to live reconciliation.
  • invites both pre-and in-service educators to think beyond text when considering meaningful and respectful ways to work with Indigenous histories and voices.

Background: The Orange Shirt Project was developed to acknowledge the impact of residential school on Indigenous people in Canada. As of January 2022, over 7000 unmarked graves have been discovered. In each grave is a child who did not return to their family and home. This dark legacy has not been widely acknowledged in Canada although there are intentions such as this project that aim to ensure that this does not continue. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation this project provides an opportunity to stand with Indigenous people and to recognise their loss and pain. It is also offered as a way for healing. The Tiny Orange Sweater Project, initiated by Jennifer Kent Symons on Facebook in summer 2021 now has 448 members across Canada. Lorrie Miller and Shannon Leddy have participated in this project and were inspired to develop a related project here at UBC. The Orange Shirt Project at UBC is hosted by Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy. This is an invitation to contribute by providing your version of a shirt or sweater in orange that can be added to an art installation in the Scarfe Building at UBC.

Learn about the origin of Orange Shirt Day here.


The Orange Shirt Project is being developed in several stages.

Stage 1 – Completed October 2022

  • collected a minimum over 1,000 little shirts and sweaters
  • worked with NITEP students to determine an appropriate number of panels and any associated images
  • the shirts and jumpers are displayed on the panels in the North stairwell of the Scarfe building
  • didactic panels tell the story of the installation in engaging ways.

Stage 2 – ongoing

  • Continue to collect and mount little shirts and jumpers aiming for one for each child lost in residential schools
  • Develop related teaching and learning materials that support both pre-service & in-service teacher


Your handmade contributions to the Orange Shirt Project can be sent to:

Lorrie Miller
Orange Shirt Project
Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy
2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Contact:  Dr. Lorrie Miller