As the rhythm of the drums began, a wave of calm seemingly spread across the sea of orange gathered at Vedder Elementary to honour Orange Shirt Day at Vedder Elementary on Friday.
Held annually on Sept. 30 to represent the time of year Indigenous children were typically taken from their families, the project aims to bring First Nations, local governments, schools, and communities together in the spirit of reconciliation. However, because that day is during the weekend, schools aross Chilliwack, including Vedder Elementary, chose to wear orange a few days early.
With guest speakers Derek Epp, who’s the Chief of the Tzeachten First Nation, and Fred Jackson, who created one of this year’s shirt designs, Orange Shirt Day at Vedder Elementary culminated with a walk through the community.
“This is a walk, not a run,” said principal Tracy Wagner, who added the slower pace was to represent the students standing to honour the truth and reconciliation at the centre of the matter.