Not Just Another Day Off: Orange Shirt Day and the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools

September 2021 - June 2022

Curated by Donna van de Velde and Deborah Lee

Located in the Murray Library, this exhibit spans two floors featuring a variety of archival materials, books, DVDs and posters. Guests are invited to begin or further their learning journey about this dark history and pledge their commitment to learning and taking action to make USask a more welcoming place for Indigenous peoples by tying an orange ribbon somewhere on campus. The exhibit is available Sept. 27, 2021 - June 27, 2022 during library opening hours.

For the duration of the Not Just Another Day Off exhibit, Room 147 has been made available for students, staff and visitors as smudging space. The room will remain locked and can be accessed Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm by asking staff at the Research Help Desk to unlock it. An air purifier is in the room and visitors are asked to use the timer function upon leaving.

We have created an online guide to accompany the exhibit that will continue to be available after it closes in June 2022. It is a resource for further learning and action and features books, videos, podcasts, and links to online courses and events.

View our video tour to learn more about the various components prior to visiting.

This exhibit is meant to be a respectful demonstration of the work of generations of Indigenous educators, scholars and community members that connects the Residential schools with anti-Indigenous racism and their combined legacies, including: 

  • the Sixties Scoop
  • the overincarceration of Indigenous peoples
  • the hyper-surveillance and policing of Indigenous peoples
  • Indian control of Indian education
  • missing and murdered Indigenous women, and
  • Indigenous resistance and resilience
These are some images of the exhibit installed in the Murray Library. You can explore many of the objects included in the exhibit in this PDF document.

Archival Material

This exhibit includes material from three fonds held by the University Archives and Special Collections.
Biographies were updated Nov. 30, 2021.

Cecil King was an Odawa from Wikwemikong, and a residential school survivor. He earned his BEd (1973) and MEd (1975) at the University of Saskatchewan, and his PhD (1983) from the University of Calgary. He served as head of the Indian and Northern Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as Dean of the Saskatoon campus of the First Nations University of Canada. King also served as the first director of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program at Queen’s University.

King taught Ojibwe at universities and developed significant Ojibwe language programs for schools across Canada and the United States and created an Ojibwe dictionary. Throughout his career, Dr. King worked with First Nations across Canada in developing programs and policies to secure Indian Control of Indian Education. Among other awards, he received the 2009 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education. He passed away in May 2022.

Explore the Cecil King fonds

Patricia Monture (later Monture-Angus) was a member of the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka [Mohawk] Nation from the Six Nations Grand River Territory. She earned a BA (Sociology) from Western University (1983), a Law degree from Queen’s University (1988) and a Master’s in Law from Osgoode Hall Law School (1998). After earning her LL.B in 1988 she filed a suit in Ontario’s Supreme Court arguing that as a member of a sovereign nation, she should not be required to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen to join the Ontario Bar. In response, the Law Society made the oath-taking optional. Monture taught law at both Dalhousie University and the University of Ottawa before being offered a position in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in 1994. She was at the time one of very few Indigenous women in a faculty position on campus—at one point being the only Indigenous person in the Department of Native Studies. In 2004 she joined the Sociology department and became the academic coordinator of the Indigenous People and Justice Program. Her work on Indigenous and women’s rights stretched far beyond her activities on campus. She received the 2007 Sarah Shorten Award for the advancement of women the 2008 Human Rights Action award from the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and was awarded honorary degrees by Athabasca University (2008) and Queen’s (2009). Patricia died in 2010. A center for student success, with a focus on Indigenous student success, has been opened in her name at the University of Saskatchewan.

Explore the Patricia Monture fonds

Harold Nelson Woodsworth served as an Indian Agent at several agencies in Saskatchewan. Material in this collection (1871-1970) includes contains a variety of ledgers, reports, and memoranda created by or sent to Indian Agents in Saskatchewan.

Explore the Harold Nelson Woodsworth collection

Display cabinet on the ground floor of the Murray Library containing an Every Child Matters orange t-shirt, documents about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and baskets of orange ribbons. These ribbons were taken by visitors to the exhibit and tied to poles, banisters, and other structures on campus to express a commitment to learning more about the dark legacy of residential schools.
Display cabinet on the ground floor of the Murray Library containing an Every Child Matters orange t-shirt, documents about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and baskets of orange ribbons. These ribbons were taken by visitors to the exhibit and tied to poles, banisters, and other structures on campus to express a commitment to learning more about the dark legacy of residential schools.

Contributors

This exhibit was made possible through a team effort. Special thanks to:

  • David Bindle
  • Cheryl Avery
  • Lisa Carpenter
  • Lindsay Stokalko
  • Laurie Wing
  • Lisa Shiffman
  • Sheila Laroque
  • Winona Wheeler
  • Jill McMillan
  • jake moore and SUNTEP students for the collaboration on the orange ribbons.
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