Enderby joins Splatsin in Truth & Reconciliation Day march

'Truth must be heard'

Enderby will join Splatsin First Nation in observing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday.

"On this solemn day, please join me in reflecting upon the tragedy that afflicted victims of the residential school system," Mayor Huck Galbraith said in a statement on the city's website.

"We stand in recognition of the trauma that persists to this day, for survivors and for future generations, and those who lost children, culture, and identity to a cruel and inhumane program."

Splatsin invites the public to join it in a walk to honour victims and survivors, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Enderby Chamber of Commerce and walking to the Splatsin Centre.

A ceremony will follow, along with lunch and music.

"There are 150 known Splatsin members who attended residential schools over the decades. Of those, 45 remain," the band says.

"I encourage community members to attend the march and wear their orange shirts," says Galbraith.

"Truth must always be spoken and heard. We cannot hear if we do not listen. Come listen to elders, survivors, and others who are living with the trauma of the residential school system, as they share their stories."

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, sales of shirts will help fund the creation of a residential school memorial planned by Splatsin.

The orange shirts are inspired by a young girl, Phyllis (Jack) Wesbstad, who was about to start at a residential school in the 1970s. Her grandmother brought her to a store and told her to pick out whatever she wanted, and she chose a bright orange shirt.

Webstad’s hair was cut and she was stripped of her clothes upon arriving at the school. Her orange shirt was taken, and she never saw it again.

The Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Teaching Centre) Society has been selling shirts for three years and has raised more than $10,000.

All profits from shirt sales go towards the monument project.

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