Students tried traditional First Nations drumming during the Orange Shirt Day activities in Boitanio Park in 2015. The 2016 Orange Shirt Day activities take place in the park this Friday.

Students tried traditional First Nations drumming during the Orange Shirt Day activities in Boitanio Park in 2015. The 2016 Orange Shirt Day activities take place in the park this Friday.

Orange Shirt Day has a new society and website

Williams Lake is going into its third Orange Shirt Day this Friday with an official Orange Shirt Society and a new website.

Williams Lake is going into its third Orange Shirt Day this Friday with an official Orange Shirt Society and a new website.

Orange Shirt Day, which began here in 2013, is now celebrated across the province, country and around the world, said Jerome Beauchamp, who chairs the new Orange Shirt Society.

Orange Shirt Day, one of the legacies of the former St. Joseph Mission residential school, grew out of local residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad’s story about having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day at the mission school.

“Although Phyllis’ story is just one example of what happened to students at the residential school, it has become a reminder of residential school impact on children who attended and the generations that followed,” Beauchamp said.

Phyllis’ story, and the colour orange, have become a symbol that has made it possible for other survivors to tell their stories, and for the general public to further the discussion on the impact of residential schools on both First Nations and non-First Nations individuals and families, to work towards residential school reconciliation and begin to understand the inter-generational impact of residential schools.

The Orange Shirt Society was formed with a goal of creating awareness about the inter-generational impacts of residential schools on individuals, families and communities and supports Orange Shirt Day activities and the underlying concept that everyone must remember that “Every Child Matters,”  Beauchamp said.

Armed with their new website and social media connections, he said the society supports activities across the country and around the globe by providing information and activity ideas.

“Phyllis’ story is one of the resources that can be found on the website,” Beauchamp said.

He said the society plans to raise funds and apply for grants to support and host activities that bring First Nations, local governments, schools and communities together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come, as noted on the website.

Orange Shirt Day is Friday, Sept. 30 but activities will actually begin on Thursday evening, Sept. 29  with a comedy show by First Nations comedian Darrell Dennis, said society member Margaret Anne Enders. Admission is by donation.

Dennis, who is originally from Esket (Alkali) will present his show at Lake City Secondary’s Williams Lake Campus starting at 7 p.m.

The show will be followed by a question and answer period, Enders said.

She said Dennis will also be in attendance for the Orange Shirt Day activities taking place in Boitanio Park from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday.

Enders said activities will include singing and drumming, sharing stories, and activities for children and youth.

Last year, she said about 700 people attended the event and they expect at least that number again this year including students from schools around the region.

“We hope that lots of non-First Nations people will come out and support this reconciliation initiative,” Enders says.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

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

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read