The Westbank First Nation (WFN) and Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) are hosting several events to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.
WFN’s Sncəwips Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be premiering its newest exhibit “What Does it Mean to be Syilx?”. The exhibit focuses on the voices of WFN community members and their artistic/written expression of identity.Everyone is welcome to drop in, enjoy some bannock and tea, and learn about the syilx people. The museum is located in the Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre on Highway 97S.
ONA is hosting Walk for the Children on Sept. 30. It’s a five-kilometre walk, starting at 10 a.m., from the Penticton Peach to the Syilx Indian Residential School Monument outside the Penticton Hatchery on En’owkin Trail. The walk is open to everyone.
The West Kelowna Warriors hit the ice Sept. 30, taking on the Wenatchee Wild. The team will be wearing special “Every Child Matters” jerseys for the game. They will be part of a silent afterwards with proceeds benefiting the Residential School Survivors Society.
Since 2013, Sept. 30 has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day across Canada in honour of the survivors of Indian Residential Schools. In 2021, Sept. 30 was designated the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by the federal government. The day provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour the survivors, families and communities impacted.
Ways to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
- Support Indigenous entrepreneurs by visiting one of the many businesses on WFN lands.
- Purchase an orange shirt to wear on Sept. 30th to show support and solidarity. Orange shirts can be purchased at Spirit of the Lake Native Boutique (1960 Nancee Way, Westbank), London Drugs (Westbank), or Sncəwips Museum.
- Download, print and display Every Child Matters posters in the window of your home or business.
- Purchase local Indigenous books.
- Commission Indigenous art or take a local public art tour.
- Recognize or acknowledge the Indigenous lands you are on by placing a plaque at your place of business, using nsyilxcen language in your notices/signage or boardroom names, or adding acknowledgment to your standard auto signatures. “We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded and traditional territories of the syilx/Okanagan people.”
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. Non-emergency calls to The Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society can be directed to 1-800-721-0066.