Orange Shirt Society founder Phyllis Webstad and staff are taking their message of reconciliation and awareness to the streets with the purchase of a bright, orange truck to take to engagements and events.
“No one is going to miss us when we come into town,” noted Webstad in a news release announcing the purchase of a 2019 Dodge Ram truck. “This truck is meaningful to me because 2019 was the year my grandmother, the one that bought me my orange shirt, passed. On the back window, I have 9.28.18, her date of birth, to remind me of her.”
The Orange Shirt Society announced the purchase was made possible through donations from BMO Bank of Montreal, Carter GM, Ranchland Honda, and the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations.
As she paused for a photo-op at Ranchland Honda Tuesday, Sept. 21, Webstad said it felt good to be sharing some good news.
“This is so positive and fun which is good because it’s hard stuff we deal with every day,” she said. “Now we will just have to add some flowers and balloons when there’s a parade or event and we will be good to go.”
Ranchland Honda managing partner Corey Herle said he was more than happy to support the society’s desire to get the truck.
The overwhelming number of requests for speaking engagements, event participation and community support have made travel a focal point for Webstad and other Orange Shirt Society staff. The society noted that beyond providing safe and reliable transportation, the vehicle will help foster awareness of the impact of Indian Residential Schools, the intergenerational trauma associated with the schools, the concept of “Every Child Matters” and promote Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Webstad will drive the truck to Vancouver on Thursday as she plans to attend the B.C. Lions-Saskatchewan Roughriders football game on Friday, Sept. 24 where 10,000 shirts will be handed out to people attending to mark the approach of the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.