National Day of Remembrance for US Indian Boarding Schools 

(Orange Shirt Day) is today, September 30th!


National Day of Remembrance for US Indian Boarding Schools, also known as Orange Shirt Day and Every Child Matters Day, began as a day to bring attention to the damage the residential school system did to Indigenous children, lifeways, and cultures.


“Beginning in the late 1800s, the US government and various church groups began establishing boarding (or residential) schools for American Indian and Alaska Native children. The children were forcibly removed from their families and cultures. These schools were intended to “civilize” Native children and assimilate them into white culture. This amounted to cultural genocide. The first boarding school in Alaska was established in 1878 by Presbyterian missionaries, and in the decades that followed boarding schools opened across Alaska. 33 residential schools operated in Alaska. Alaska Native children were also taken from their homeland to schools across the US.”


The first step to healing and reconciliation is truth. All month, partners across Alaska have been working to bring attention and awareness to our states’ past, offer opportunities for healing, and find ways to move forward together. At Camp Fire Alaska, we’ve participated organization wide by expanding our knowledge of this day and it’s history.


School Age Program

Across all of our Before and After School Program sites, our staff facilitated either a video/story for the group, as well as an activity of their choosing from the Alaska Children’s Trust’s Toolkit. 

Staff and Board of Directors

As a part of our organization wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainings, our staff took part in deeper learning about Orange Shirt Day by having the option to chose between 4 different facilitated trainings. And we made sure to show our support by wearing our orange shirts!