Phyllis Webstad’s Orange Shirt Day story, now a book, continues to inspire truth and reconciliation around Canada’s residential school legacy. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Webstad’s Orange Shirt story helps lead the way for truth and reconciliation

Webstad said the Orange Shirt movement has been divinely guided from the very beginning.

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad continues to be a beacon for truth and reconciliation in Canada and around the world.

Webstad’s story about having her new orange shirt taken away on the first day of residential school when she was six years old was the impetus for Orange Shirt Day, a national day of remembrance marked on Sept. 30.

Read more: Williams Lake students celebrate Orange Shirt Day

On March 20, she and Joan Sorley, Cariboo Regional District Area F director, will attend the House of Commons where MPs will vote on whether or not to make Sept. 30 National Truth and Reconciliation Day, a statutory holiday honouring victims of residential schools.

“I watched some of the debate last week and it looked like the MPs were in favour of it,” Webstad said.

In advance of the vote, Webstad and Joan Sorley, Cariboo Regional District Area F director, are travelling to Ottawa on March 18.

Webstad’s book, The Orange Shirt Story, was published last fall.

Read more:Williams Lake author and activist on a book tour for the fall

“On my book tour I did corporate presentations and went to schools, speaking to students from Grades K to 12,” she said. “One thing I left knowing from the school visits, was that our future is in good hands with the children. They are learning and understanding and they will make sure it doesn’t happen again. They have empathy.”

Looking back over the last six years to when she first shared her story, Webstad said the Orange Shirt movement has been divinely guided from the very beginning. “Something else is moving it along. It’s timely with what is happening for First Nations people in Canada. Now is the time for truth telling and opening the doors to conversations about the residential school legacy across Canada.”

Her story will also become the subject of a board book for two to five year olds, with the words told in rhyme, and published by Medicine Wheel Education.

“The pictures of me crying and the nuns will be removed for that version,” Webstad said.

Brock Nicol of Ottawa who illustrated the first book will also do the illustrations for the board book.

“I’ve never met Brock but will get to when we are in Ottawa,” Webstad added.

Webstad and Sorley will travel to Ottawa two days in advance of the House of Commons vote and are scheduled to visit two Catholic Schools in the capital where Webstad will give presentations.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodriquez has also requested a meeting with them on March 20.

In April an Orange Shirt Day office will be opening in Williams Lake, Webstad said, noting it should be ready for a grand opening by May.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Made in the Cariboo attracts lakecity residents of all ages

Everything was on sale from fudge to soap, Christmas wreaths to birdhouses all made locally

Spirit of live music alive and well in lakecity

Singing for your supper is not a strange concept to the Ira Hayes Band

Cross country ski club eagerly awaiting start of season

“In total it probably covers about 600 to 700 metres of new trail.”

Busy month ahead for lakecity prior to Christmas season

Be sure to make room in your schedule for these exciting events

Williams Lake Hospice Society volunteers accepting donations for annual Memory Tree

Purchase a light on the Memory Tree this season for a loved one

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

B.C. municipality wants ALC to reconsider their decision in regard to pipeline work camp

The ALC had rejected the construction of the Coastal GasLink work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport in October

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read