September 27th, 2021 – “Returning home and Pathways to Reconciliation” Film screening and conversation with Orange Shirt Day Originator Phyllis Webstad.

“Returning Home” weaves the story of two parallel narratives. The first is the story of Phyllis Webstad, a Survivor of the former St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in Williams Lake and originator of Orange Shirt Day. The second is the story of the steady decline of wild pacific salmon. This 45 minute film is the first feature length documentary produced by Canadian Geographic. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Sean Stiller, it is set to tour the film festival circuit this fall, beginning with the Vancouver Film Festival on October 1, 2021.

We are pleased to be able to showcase the film in advance, in a special presentation that will include a Musqueam welcome and opening remarks by Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald and IRSHDC Academic Director Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), as well as a post-screening conversation and Q&A with Phyllis, moderated by Dr. Turpel-Lafond-Lafond.

This free event is free, however registration is required to ensure limited numbers in strict accordance with COVID-19 health protocols. Should public health guidelines change, the event will be delivered virtually. It is presented in partnership with the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue CentreFirst Nations House of LearningUBC Learning Circle and the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health

Please note that, according to provincial health guidelines, attendees to this event will require proof of vaccination requirement. For more information, please see the Chan Centre’s Safety Information page.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.

Our events aim to embody a safe space for everyone of all different backgrounds to have their opinions and voices equally heard.

Date: Monday, September 27th, 2021 (PST)
Time: 11 a.m. to 1 pm; in person 
Where: UBC Chan Center – map here


About the Presenters:


Phyllis Webstad

Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and Irish/French heritage, was born in Dog Creek, and lives in Williams Lake, BC. Today, Phyllis is married, has one son, a stepson and five grandchildren.  She is the Ambassador and Founder of the Orange Shirt Society and tours the country telling her story and raising awareness about the impacts of the residential school system.  She has now published three books, the “Orange Shirt Story”, “Phyllis’s Orange Shirt” for younger children, and “Beyond the Orange Shirt Story” for older students. She has also co-authored “Orange Shirt Day”, a textbook for middle-school and older students.

Phyllis earned diplomas in Business Administration from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology; and in Accounting from Thompson Rivers University. In 2017, Phyllis received the TRU Distinguished Alumni Award for her unprecedented impact on local, provincial, national and international communities as a result of the sharing of her orange shirt story.




Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald (Q’um Q’um Xiiem)

Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald (Q’um Q’um Xiiem) is a member of the Stó:lō Nation and has kinship in the St’át’imc Nation. She is a long-time educator, researcher, leader, and advocate for the advancement of Indigenous education through policy, teaching, research, and curriculum development, within Canada, and internationally. She is a Professor Emeritus in the UBC Department of Educational Studies, former Associate Dean for Indigenous Education and Director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP), and former Director of the First Nations House of Learning.

Internationally, Dr. Archibald has worked with many Indigenous scholars in New Zealand and Australia. Archibald is the recipient of various awards such as the Order of Canada, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education (Indspire), and the American Education Research Association Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award.


Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe)

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe) is the Academic Director of the Centre. She is a Canadian lawyer, former judge, legislative advocate for children’s rights and a professor at UBC’s Allard School of Law. She holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall at York University, a master’s degree in international law from the University of Cambridge, and a doctorate of law from Harvard Law School. As a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Aki-Kwe was the first Treaty Indian to be named to the judicial bench in Saskatchewan. She has served as a Representative for Children and Youth for BC, and continues to draft legislation, provide legal advice and speak to all levels of government.




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