The following annual dates are important to Indigenous peoples across Canada and at Douglas College. We encourage you to participate in Douglas events hosted on these days as opportunities for community building, celebration, remembrance, honouring Indigenous culture and knowledge, and practising traditional lifeways. To find out what events may be happening on campus for these dates, visit the College events calendar.
NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
National Indigenous People’s Day is a day dedicated to the contributions of Indigenous people in Canada and a celebration of our knowledge, culture and lifeways as both a foundational and contributing aspect of Canadian heritage. Inuit, Métis and First Nations culture and people are each represented and honoured. June 21 was selected because it is the Summer Solstice, which is important to Indigenous peoples. Douglas traditionally celebrates this day with an opening ceremony, smudging, workshops and talks held in our Aboriginal Gathering Place.
ORANGE SHIRT DAY
Orange Shirt Day is about bringing awareness to the legacy of residential schools and the personal stories and individual experiences of the 150,000+ people affected by them then and now. The name of this day comes from one such personal story: Phyllis Webstad was stripped of her personal clothes on her first day of school, including the brand-new orange shirt that was a gift from her grandmother. Orange Shirt Day is a global and local opportunity to engage in conversation on every aspect of residential schools. On our campuses we create inclusive spaces, places and events for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff and faculty to engage with Reconciliation and put the idea into action.
SISTERS IN SPIRIT
Sisters in Spirit began as an initiative to research and document the statistics of violence against Canada’s Indigenous women. Vigils are held across Canada to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Douglas College is a regular participant, partnering with the Douglas Students’ Union to hold our own vigil for the College community.
WOMEN'S MEMORIAL MARCH
This annual event in Vancouver memorializes and honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, a phenomenon which sadly continues. The march protests inequality, police brutality and violence. Douglas College stands with these principles and the resilience of this community of strong women, who demand dignity and respect in the face of discrimination.