VIDEO: Smithers friendship centre launches canoe to mark Orange Shirt Day

Staff of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre hold up a banner honouring residential school survivors on Lake Kathlyn for Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30. (Thom Barker photo)
Staff of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre get ready to launch a canoe on Lake Kathlyn for Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30. (Thom Barker photo)
Sonia, a residential school survivor (centre, holding a ceremonial paddle), watches as staff of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre get ready to launch a canoe on Lake Kathlyn for Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30. (Thom Barker photo)
Staff of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre launch a canoe on Lake Kathlyn for Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30. (Thom Barker photo)
Staff of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre hold up a banner honouring residential school survivors at the second boat launch at Lake Kathlyn for Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30. (Thom Barker photo)

Sonia, a survivor of a residential school in Port Alberni, recalled that when Orange Shirt Day was first organized in 2013, it made her sad.

But seven years later, as she helped the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre launch a canoe on Lake Kathlyn in honour of survivors of the Indian Residential School System and those who did not survive, she said it has become part of her healing.

“For young children to realize and respect what Orange Shirt Day is all about is very honouring to all of us,” she said, adding it would be nice to see more survivors come out for events, but knows how hard it can be.

“A lot of residential survivors don’t come out and speak because it triggers a lot of people and it brings them back to the bad times or whatever they went through and we all have to understand what each person is going through,” she said.

Just prior to launching the canoe, Mel Bazil, a Friendship Centre alcohol and drug counselor said a few words about the significance of the event.

“They wanted the Native to die, but they wanted the worker to live,” he said. “Now, we are taking back our culture.”

The canoe launch is one of a number of Orange Shirt Day events going on around Smithers today.

READ MORE: Orange Shirt Day lessons of the past in today’s classrooms



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

There have been 23 cases of reported cases of COVID-19 in the Nechako Lakes Health Area

’Herbert’ Shane Hartman with his daughter Isla. (Shane Hartman Facebook photo)
Love for daughter and drumming leads to author’s first book

Shane Hartman spent very spare moment writing and illustrating Isla’s New Drum

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never-before-seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Most Read