Updated: Oct 2, 2022
September 30th 2022
There was an ocean of orange in front of Vernon city hall today. Over 200 people attended a solemn ceremony marking "Truth and Reconciliation Day", a day meant to recognize the impact of Canada's residential school system on Indigenous people.
Originally observed as Orange shirt day, last year the Canadian Parliament made September 30th a statuary holiday.
The concept of the orange shirt and every child matters was inspired by the experience of Phyllis Jack Webstad.
As a child attending residential school in BC, Webstad had a favorite orange shirt taken from her, along with the rest of her clothing on the first day she attended the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School, near Williams Lake, B.C.,
The orange shirt has become a global symbol honouring survivors of residential schools.
Okanagan and Sylix Nation flags were raised at Vernon City Hall during the ceremony and will remain until sunset.
The ceremonies also included blessings from a Sylix Nation Elder, a drum performance as well as a reading of the "94 calls to action."
The solemn day was observed across Canada led by Indigenous dancers, drumming and storytelling.
Federally financed residential schools operated in Canada between 1831 to 1996.
Over 150,000 Indigenous children attended more than 130 church run schools.