The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) has made available through Canada’s Outdoor Learning Store Every Child Matters flags. The initiative to supply the flags resulted from recognizing that there was a general lack of accessibility and affordability for individuals and organizations to find them.
“We placed an order for fifty to arrive in two weeks and another for two hundred to arrive in four weeks,” CBEEN’s Executive Director Duncan Whittick said in an email. “And we’ll place further bulk orders as required. We anticipate that there will be a high demand over the next few weeks, and then again leading up to Orange Shirt Day at the end of September.”
Flags are now available for purchase for $60 on the Outdoor Learning Store’s website at outdoorlearningstore.ca. The flags are three by four feet and come with grommets on the top and bottom of the left side. The Orange Shirt Society has approved them.
As a result of bulk purchasing, the flags are half the price of what other stores are selling them for individually. A quarter of the purchase of each flag will be directed equally between the Orange Shirt Society, The Legacy Of Hope Foundation and the Residential School Survivors Society. The remaining proceeds will go towards outdoor and land-based learning charities and non-profits doing their part to deepen understanding and take action towards reconciliation.
Every order will also be accompanied by a copy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. For Columbia Valley residents, there are no shipping costs. Flags can be picked up at the Outdoor Learning Store located in the Invermere industrial park.
“We are a country in shock and disbelief that fellow man can treat the First Peoples as we are finding out now,” said Jenna Jasek in a press release. Jasek is a Shuswap Indian Band member and indigenous advisor to Canada’s Outdoor Learning Store. “Please join us and begin this journey of healing for all Indigenous peoples by flying this flag in honour of all of the missing children and to the survivors of these schools. Your support is so important to all of Canada, and the flag reminds us that we have work to do to unmask the truth.”
Canada’s Outdoor Learning Store is a non-profit social enterprise run by CBEEN based in Invermere. The organization aims to provide easy access to outdoor learning equipment and resources to schools and organizations across Canada. The initiative is run as a social enterprise supporting outdoor learning non-profit organizations from across the country.
For more information, visit outdoorlearningstore.ca.
James Rose, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer