Chief Roger William (second from left)

Chief Roger William (second from left)

Orange Shirt Day a time for discussion

Making sure that every child matters is the theme for the annual Orange Shirt Day events coming up in Williams Lake.

Making sure that every child matters is the theme for the annual Orange Shirt Day events coming up in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House next week.

The events take place at Boitanio Park in Williams Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 30 starting at 10 a.m., and at the arena ball fields in 100 Mile House starting at 1 p.m.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School (1891-1981) commemoration and reunion held in Williams Lake in the spring of 2013.

The event grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s account of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away from her on her first day of school at the mission school and the subsequent recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s self esteem and well being.

Sept. 30 has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually as an affirmation of commitment to ensure that going forward every child matters, to honour residential school survivors and their families and to remember those who didn’t survive.

The event is also an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year and for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

“Every Child Matters” orange T-shirts are available at Kit and Kaboodle in Williams Lake by calling 250-398-5121.

Partial proceeds from the sale of the shirts goes to the Orange Shirt Society.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

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