Marie Sharpe Elementary School students drummed while Mike Retasket and Cheryl Chapman led the whole crowd in the singing of a First Nations song during the Orange Shirt Day event in Boitanio Park Friday

Marie Sharpe Elementary School students drummed while Mike Retasket and Cheryl Chapman led the whole crowd in the singing of a First Nations song during the Orange Shirt Day event in Boitanio Park Friday

Impressive support for Williams Lake Orange Shirt Day

An estimated 1,200 participants gathered in Boitanio Park Friday morning, Sept. 30 for the annual Orange Shirt Day event.

Singing, drumming, heartfelt stories, and welcomes in English and First Nation languages were all part of the Orange Shirt Day celebrations held in Boitanio Park Friday morning, Sept. 30.

An estimate 1,200 students, teachers, community leaders and more gathered in the cold park under foggy skies, with participants taking off their coats for a short time at one point to show a sea of orange T-shirts.

Student and adult drummers performed songs and part way through the presentations involved the whole audience in singing a First Nations song.

Phyllis Webstad, the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day, was there to tell her story about the impact of residential school on her life. Several other people also shared their experiences including First Nations comedian Darrell Dennis.

“More and more awareness is being created every year,” Webstad said. “It was wonderful to see the sea of orange everywhere.”

Dennis was also happy to see such a large turnout for the event.

“It is great to see that many native and non-native people involved in the discussion,” Dennis said. “It gives me hope.”

Dennis said he also had a lot of really great feedback from the audience attending his comedy show held at the Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus Thursday evening.

He said humour is a big part of First Nations culture.

“We use humour a lot in talking about our painful past,” Dennis said. “It is a survival mechanism.”

Carrie Phillip who is from the Sto:lo Nation and works at the Nenqayni Wellness Centre was impressed to see so many children from all over the region participating in Orange Shirt Day and getting a glimpse of what their ancestors experienced. She hoped the experience will encourage them to be curious about exploring their own family histories.

Mark Wintjes, School District 27 acting superintendent, who was also among the speakers, said it was heartwarming to see such a wonderful expression of support for Orange Shirt Day from the community.


Shortly after their presentations in Williams Lake the Orange Shirt Day team leaders headed to 100 Mile House to host Orange Shirt Day activities in that community Friday afternoon.



Just Posted

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Mining month in B.C.

Mining Month 2021 gives us the opportunity to learn more about how the industry is changing

Williams Lake Farmers’ Market manager Barb Scharf said Friday, May 7, she was glad to have everyone back for another season. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Farmers’ market season underway in Williams Lake

The Friday market goes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lake City Secondary School Grade 7 Outdoor Education students Geordi Wonnacott (from left), Brody Brook, James Wilker, Ali Calabrese and Kaitlyn Brown explore a burned area at the top end of the trails at Bull Mountain Ski Area last year as part of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school program. (Martin Kruus photo)
Ski school glides to successful year at Bull Mountain

Avah Akeson, also in grade seven, said that just having the opportunity to ski was really fun

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred Friday

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Most Read