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“Tslluk’wminstem, Ltwilc, ell Xyemstwec”

“Remembering, Recovering, Reconciling”

These are the words written on this plaque in Boitanio Park in Williams Lake, commemorating the experiences of former students of Indian Residential Schools.

Those who have experienced trauma and are in the process of recovering and reconciling, know that “remembering” comes first. The stories of residential school survivors need to be told, they need to be heard, and the impacts, both past and present, need to be acknowledged and understood. “Orange Shirt Day” , an annual event that started in 2013 right here in Williams Lake, is an awesome reminder of this, and a perfect opportunity to hear the stories and gain the kind of compassion & understanding that comes by hearing survivor’s stories and how that has affected generations of children. It gives us an opportunity to honour those who have been wronged on such a deep level, and an opportunity to reflect on what “moving forward” may look like. Also, to implement those changes involving reconciliation, maybe starting or continuing with what is right in front of us.

At our local “Orange Shirt Day” Gathering 2015 in Williams Lake, seeing people there from all walks of life, and hearing from leaders, both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal, the heart of reconciliation was there, it was a beautiful, shared event. May we embrace all opportunities to reconcile, within ourselves and with those around us.

Ephesians 4: 1-3 “… walk worthy of the calling to which you were called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,..”

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tinyhouse building, on Orange Shirt Day 2015

Orange Shirt Day is on September 30th.

See the official website for more info: www.orangeshirtday.org

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if you would like to learn more about this, here are some video links: