Truth and Reconciliation captivates young minds at school event

Sea of orange remembers

A wave of orange flowed through BX Elementary as the Vernon school held a special Truth and Reconciliation event on Friday.

Wearing orange shirts, the entire student body attended the assembly.

“Our job as educators is to ensure that all people, students included, know about Truth and Reconciliation and the true history of our country,” said BX Elementary vice-principal Cordell Ware, who organized the event.

The students remained silent and engaged throughout the 30-minute assembly, a testimony to their interest in the subject.

Ware said students came together to honour Indigenous across the country and their Indigenous classmates ... “and celebrate the culture they bring to our school.”

Ware said it is “fundamental” to teach about Canada's Indigenous past.

“As a country, we are moving towards a future that moves us to reconciliation. We can't do that alone, we can't do that by ourselves, we need all people to be part of that. Our students probably embody that the best as they see the value and they are excited to learn these things,” Ware said.

National Truth and Reconciliation Day is today.

Splatsin First Nation is inviting the public to join them in honouring children who never returned home and survivors of residential schools starting at 10 a.m. at the Enderby Chamber of Commerce building, 702 Railway St.

Participants will then walk to Splatsin Centre, where there will be an honouring ceremony of Splatsin survivors, along with lunch and music.

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, 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 beloved orange shirt was taken, and she never saw it again.

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