Orange shirt day in commemoration of residential school survivors and victims is officially on Sunday. Over 300 schoolchildren and adults gathered at the green space in Kahnawake this morning to honour their memories and experiences. Charlie Patton delivered a prayer in Kaniekeha, and several others spoke, including Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Chief Harry Rice whose own father was forced to attend residential school.
“Hopefully we can make something happen. And for a monument which has been thrown around for a couple of years now. I’m just being told a couple of people has an idea a couple of years ago and it never went through. So i think that plus the September 30th day being the official day for the orange shirt, I think we can do something with council. I don’t see any problems.”
For Organizer Helen Montour – Orange Shirt day has been a labour of love, from the first year 5 years ago when she was one of the only ones in Kahnawake wearing an orange shirt – to the importance of it now.
“It’s awesome because there’s so many children here. Just seeing those orange shirts coming down the road it was so overwhelming. And now we’re going to have it officially declared in Kahnawake to be Orange Shirt Day September 30th regardless of government or anything. It’s awesome for me. I’m amazed that it’s grown this way and I’m very proud and honoured.”