Orange Shirt Day founder and executive director Phyllis Webstad is hoping Bill C-5, to establish Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will pass in the House of Commons. (Monica Lamb-Yorski file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Orange Shirt Day founder and executive director Phyllis Webstad is hoping Bill C-5, to establish Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will pass in the House of Commons. (Monica Lamb-Yorski file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Orange Shirt Day Society calls on Conservatives to support a National Day of Reconciliation

“It’s time to do the right thing,” said founder, executive director Phyllis Webstad

Orange Shirt Day founder and executive director Phyllis Webstad continues to hope Canada will establish a National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

“All the other national statutory holidays in Canada are colonial and not one of them is to do with Indigenous people,” Webstad told Black Press Media. “It’s time to see that changed.”

Webstad announced Thursday, March 25, she is calling on the Conservative Party of Canada to work with all parties to support and pass Bill C-5 to establish Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, as a National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and has penned and sent a letter to Conservative leader Erin O’Toole formalizing her request.

“In Williams Lake survivors are 40 years of age and over and in Canada in the next 50 years or so there are going to be no survivors left,” she said. “While survivors are still with us they can share their experiences and once they are all gone, Sept. 30 will be a day of remembrance.”

Bill C-5 was first introduced in the House of Commons by the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage in September 2020.

Webstad was one of several speakers who made a presentation about the bill to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in November, appearing by Zoom.

“The bill has been stuck in the House of Commons since Nov. 25 and hasn’t gone anywhere since then,” she said.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by the Government of Canada in 2008 to document the history and lasting impacts of the Indian Residential Schools, lists 94 Calls to Action in its final report.

Webstad said the passing of Bill C-5 will be an important step in implementing Action number 80, which calls upon the federal government to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Read more: Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Previously, Bill C-369 — to make Sept. 30 a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday — passed through the House of Commons in March 2019 and was to proceed to the Senate for final approval.

It did not go ahead, however, because the federal election was called in the fall for October 2019.

Orange Shirt Day has been observed on Sept. 30 since 2013, when Webstad told the story of her first day of residential school at St. Joseph’s Mission near Williams Lake. At the age of six years old in 1973, she was excited to be wearing her new clothes and going to school for the first time, only to have her shiny new orange shirt ripped away and learn that she didn’t matter.

Read more: Orange Shirt Society seeks to trademark ‘Every Child Matters’

Black Press media has reached out to the Conservative leader for a comment.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Williams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won a $1-million prize with Lotto 6/49. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won the $1-million prize in a Lotto 6/49 draw. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen wins Lotto 6/49 $1-million prize

Ticket was purchased at Abbotsford’s FreshCo for the March 6, 2021 draw

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
Former Chilliwack man charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Prolific offender Kao Macaulay, 23, accused of breaking into home on March 30

The City of Chilliwack website now has a panel full of customization options for people with disabilities, including an ADHD Friendly Profile. (chilliwack.com)
VIDEO: City of Chilliwack website offers new options for people with disabilities

The website now has a panel allowing users to adjust just about everything to suit individual needs

Williams Lake RCMP arrested a man Saturday, March 13 near Wildwood in vehicle stolen in Quesnel. (RCMP logo)
UPDATE: Chilliwack woman missing since March 17 found safe and sound

RCMP thanks the media and public for assistance

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read