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10th annual Orange Shirt Day events in Williams Lake to span many days

Events will build to Saturday, marking ten years since Phyllis Webstad first shared her story.
Phyllis Webstad, left, and Elaine Watt, hold up one of the finished quilts which are part of the Quilts for Survivors initiative as part of Orange Shirt Day Society’s events this year. Fifty quilts will be given away to survivors of the St. Joseph’s Residential School and the sixties scoop. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Beginning on Thursday, Sept. 21, there will be a number of events to choose from to support Orange Shirt Day and the 10-year anniversary of the event aimed at helping raise awareness around the generational impacts of residential schools.

In Williams Lake, where it all began with the story of Phyllis Webstad and her orange shirt, the bulk of the events will take place from Tuesday until Saturday. Mental health supports will be available at the Stampede Grounds during the events.

Thursday, Sept. 21

Every Child Matters Hockey Game at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Centre. Orange Jersey Project team will face off against the Chilcotin Grizzlies in an exhibition game.

5:45 p.m. Public skate, autograph booth, raffle tables.

7:30 p.m. Opening ceremony.7:40 p.m. Puck drop.

8:10 p.m. U9/U11 Intermission game Admission is by donation. 9:45 p.m. Team pictures. This event is being organized by the Orange Jersey Project, a program by the Orange Shirt Society based in Kamloops.

Tuesday, Sept. 26

Returning Home @ Paradise Cinemas

Time TBD - A daytime screening of a documentary featuring Phyllis Webstad and the interconnected nature of the Secwépemc people and the salmon migration.

Wednesday, Sept. 27

7 p.m. Lighting of the sacred fire at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds.

Thursday, Sept. 28

10 a.m. School District 27 students will attend an opening ceremony at the Williams Lake Stampede grounds with speeches and activities going until just before noon.

7 p.m. Scared fire and drumming

Friday, Sept. 29

10 a.m. opening ceremony, speeches.

1 p.m. hypnotist show at the Let’r’Buck Saloon stage

3-5 p.m. Bull riding events courtesy of C+ Rodeos

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: artisans and food vendor market, wagon rides, truth telling, quilts for survivors. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will have some archival materials available for viewing. 

7 p.m. Sacred fire and drumming

Saturday, Sept. 30

7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. or they run out, whichever happens first: free pancake breakfast.

10 a.m. opening ceremonies, speeches

1 p.m. Lahal tournament at the ball diamonds

1 p.m. Indian relay races

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: artisan and food vendor market, wagon rides, truth telling, Quilts for Survivors. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will have some archival materials available for viewing.

Organizers said they are working to try and make it all come together, despite some changes in leadership with the society leading up to the decade-marking anniversary of the event.

They are putting a call out for donations of bales of hay for relay racers and wagon teams to help support the events and possible additions to snacks and drinks for attendees.

For more information or to support the event, contact Sara Fulton, administrative coordinator for the Orange Shirt Society at

READ MORE: Quilts for Cariboo Chilcotin survivors an Orange Shirt Day team effort

READ MORE: Ceremony, food and horse racing all part of Orange Shirt Day in Williams Lake

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