Edmonton City Hall a sea of orange for residential school survivors
Hundreds of people support Orange Shirt Day
Hundreds of people gathered together in orange shirts at Edmonton City Hall Friday in a touching show of support for residential school survivors.
People were there to honour the survivors in a special ceremony for Orange Shirt Day.
Orange Shirt Day came from the story of Phyllis Webstad, whose orange shirt was taken from her on her first day at residential school in B.C. in 1973.
Morin, from Enoch Cree Nation, said he was moved to see Webstad's story had such an impact on so many people.
Morin's group Sacred Drum played a memorial song to remember the children who never came home from residential schools.
He, like many others, wore the orange T-shirt with a logo designed by 16-year-old Amy Peters, describing it as a "perfect" tribute.
The design was picked from 380 entries to a competition run by Safe and Caring Schools and Communities.
Peters came to Edmonton from Delburne, east of Red Deer, to be a part of the event. She said it was surreal to see so many people wearing the shirt with her design.
"It's amazing. It's a great opportunity to bring awareness to this cause," she said.
Her design shows a dreamcatcher in place of a child's eye, representing the dream to be back home with family.
While many were wearing that shirt, Treaty 6 Grand Chief Willie Littlechild chose an Oilers T-shirt for the event.
"I wanted to acknowledge the Edmonton Oilers because they've done a tremendous amount of work as a hockey team to promote reconciliation," Littlechild said.
Littlechild said it was great to see so many school children at city hall learning about the legacy of residential schools and the continuing impact.
Education Minister David Eggen echoed that.
Eggen said to him, residential schools sounded more like prisons.
Having been dedicated to reconciliation for many years, Morin said it was encouraging to hear the City of Edmonton make an official proclamation recognizing Orange Shirt Day.