The first-ever Orange Shirt Day in the Cariboo, acknowledging the experience of the residential schools for First Nations, is fast approaching.
On Monday, Sept. 30 people will be encouraged to wear an orange shirt and pins that state: Every Child Matters.
“We will have a lot of events going on,” said Area F director Joan Sorley during the Cariboo Regional District’s Board on the Road barbecue held at the Wildwood volunteer fire department hall, last Thursday.
Sorley told the story behind the Orange Shirt Day, explaining the colour orange was chosen because of Phylis Webstad.
When Webstad was six years old she went shopping with her grandma to pick out a new outfit for her first day of school and picked a pretty orange shirt.
“When she got to St. Joseph’s Mission residential school she was stripped of her clothes and thrown in the shower and she never saw her pretty orange shirt again.”
From that day forward, the colour orange symbolized to Webstad that she did not matter.
The CRD, along with the cities of Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile House, School District 27 and School District 28 have all declared Sept. 30 to be Orange Shirt Day in recognition of the harm done to children by the residential school system, and as an affirmation to ensure that every child matters as all involved continue through the reconciliation journey.
There will be a ceremony in Boitanio Park in the morning, with children’s activities and musicians, including Juno award winning Murray Porter, followed by a similar event in 100 Mile House in the afternoon.
“National Chief Shawn a-in-chut atleo will attend,” Sorley confirmed.
A Facebook page will provide updates as the days draw closer to Sept. 30, she added. facebook link www.facebook.com /events /1414115348807040/.