Book in Common

Campus Partner Events

  • "The History of Residential Schools," for Orange Shirt Day, September 30, 2021

    A Lecture by The Director of the Residential School history and Dialogue Centre at the University of British Columbia.

    The Tribal Relations Office at Chico State welcomes Dr. Tricia Logan of the University of British Columbia to speak about the history and relevance today of the Indian Boarding School system Thursday September 30, 2021 at 2-3:30pm over zoom. Meeting ID 828 4182 2528 PW: CANADA

    On September 30th Canadians recognize Orange Shirt Day as a time to reflect and bring forth discussion about a devastating part of our shared colonial history: The Indian Residential School system. In the US these schools were called: Indian Boarding Schools. These schools were in operation in US and Canada for more than a century from the 1860s through 1990s. Canada is leading the way in shining a light on this terrible shared history,” said Amber Noel-Camacho, Tribal Relations specialist at Chico State.

    With the recent discoveries of mass graves of children at Canadian Residential schools, it is time to speak plainly about this omitted chapter of our history. The expressed purpose of these schools was: “Kill the Indian; Save the Man.” Children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent far off for years at a time to disrupt families and cultural practices as a mechanism of forced assimilation. By 1926 approximately 85% of Indian children were attending these schools. That is 60,500 children in 367 schools operating in 29 states!

    The orange shirt tradition in Canada began when Phyllis Webstad told the story of going to boarding school proudly wearing a new orange shirt gifted to her by her grandma. The school stripped her of her clothes and personal possessions at age 6. This was a common practice.

    Wearing orange stands in solidarity with Phyllis and all the other children who were traumatized (and worse) by the boarding school system. The orange shirt is also a symbol of resilience and firmly says, I am still here! There will be a limited supply of orange shirts available, but wearing one of your own is encouraged.

    The Valene Smith Museum of Anthropology is committed to community partnerships and social justice. With funding from the 2021 CSU Governor's Award, we proudly support the Tribal Relations Office & sponsor this important lecture on the history of Residential Schools in Canada. “Perhaps this open dialogue will lead to more K-12 and college classrooms incorporating this information in their teaching,” said Adrienne Scott, Museum curator.

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