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Orange Shirt Day Event Will Be Done Virtually In Williams Lake Due To COVID-19

Every year on September 30th people gather from across the Country to recognize Orange Shirt Day.

However, due to COVID-19 this year it will be done virtually.

Joan Sorley Secretary-Treasurer of the Orange Shirt Society explained how people in the Cariboo can take part

“Phyllis and the Orange Shirt Society are participating in a National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation which is out of the University of Manitoba, and they were established after their Truth and Reconciliation commission wound up in 2015. They’re doing an online virtual event and Phyllis has a segment in that. Phyllis is also doing a live Facebook event starting at 11 o’clock this (Wednesday) morning with her publisher”.

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Sorley said to watch the live Facebook event the feed will appear on the Orange Shirt Society and Medicine Wheel Education’s Facebook.

Every September 30th since 2013 Orange Shirt Day has been recognized in Williams Lake and right across the country to honor residential school survivors.

The day originated from a moment in Phyllis Webstad’s life when her new orange shirt was taken away on her first day at residential school.

Since her telling of the story in 2013 Orange Shirt Day continues to grow momentum as well as the demand every September to have Webstad as a special guest speaker

“She has been doing virtual presentations every day this month,” Sorley said, “People are looking to book speakers because they want to hear first hand Phyllis’s story and they want to know about the impacts of Residential Schools and her presentation is very powerful. On top of that, we get a lot of requests for interviews, people wanting to know, wanting to hear from Phyllis about Orange Shirt Day.”

Sorley said they never anticipated that Orange Shirt Day would have this much growth when we did it in the first place, when we thought about it, it was a means for us to carry on the conversation in the Cariboo at least once a year, we never anticipated the way it would take off.

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