Screen printing class is busy at Vernon Secondary School, as the students prepare for Orange Shirt Day. (Photo Submitted)

Every child matters, everyday

Orange Shirt Day is a reminder to all of us to adopt inclusion into our lives year-round

Orange is an odd colour. Not usually the top of the list when asked, ‘what’s your favourite colour?’

But it is bright, bold and gets your attention.

That’s the point of it in schools across the province, and right here in the North Okanagan, today.

“We recognize Orange Shirt Day at schools every year,” said Kelly Smith, Vernon school district board chairperson, at Wednesday’s meeting. “It’s a very important day.”

Officially, Orange Shirt Day is Saturday, but schools are marking the occasion today.

Being only the fifth annual Orange Shirt Day, there are still many who know not what this day represents. And even many of the kids showing up to school today in this unpopular colour will have no idea why, except that they have been asked to.

But for those like Phyllis Webstad, the colour speaks loudly to the fact that every child matters.

Webstad started Orange Shirt Day as a vehicle for change, stemming from an unfortunate experience in school.

She recalls how she was sent to the St. Joseph Mission residential school near Williams Lake in 1973 as a six year old.

On her first day of school, Webstad was stripped of the brand new orange shirt her grandmother had bought for her.

“Nobody cared that I had feelings or that I was upset,” Webstad said. “It was like I didn’t matter and I think that’s what orange meant to me.”

While we hope most of society has outgrown the unjust treatment that took place in residential schools, today serves as a reminder to keep our dark history in the past.

But don’t be scared to keep Orange Shirt Day shining long past today. It’s a good reminder to continue ensuring every child matters, every day.

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

 

Just Posted

Robert Smithson of Smithson Employment Law Corporation presents a $10,000 donation to the Habitat for Humanity Okanagan’s Kelowna ReStore. (Contributed)
Habitat for Humanity’s Lake Country build gets $10,000 boost

“I couldn’t be more pleased to offer my support,” says Kelowna employment lawyer Robert Smithson

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

The District of Lake Country’s wildfire reduction work near Beaver Lake dam will repurpose ground debris for firewood to warm Okanagan Indian Band seniors’ homes. (District of Lake Country)
Lake Country to keep Okanagan Indian Band seniors warm through winter

‘Ironic and satisfying’ repurposed wood from fuel management project to provide heat: OKIB Chief

The North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society is seeking a letter of support from the City of Vernon ahead of its provincial grant application to establish a 37-space daycare facility to serve the Indigenous population. (submitted photo)
Organization looks to bring urban Indigenous daycare to Vernon

North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society seeks letter of support from city ahead of grant application

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Copies of an unsolicited newspaper have been reported arriving in mailboxes in Lavington and Predator Ridge among other municipalities across British Columbia. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
LETTER: Questionable newspaper appears in mailboxes

‘I would suggest people do their own research of this ‘newspaper’ before subscribing to it,’ Morning Star reader says

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Most Read