Horse Lake chief reflects on Orange Shirt Day

·1 min read

A local indigenous leader is upset with the decision that Orange Shirt Day has given way to Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Ramona Horseman, Horse Lake First Nation chief, says that she cannot see how First Nation people can reconcile with Canada when her Treaty 8 territory didn’t make an agreement with the current Canadian government.

Recently, Horseman spoke with the News outlining racist occurrences that indigenous people in the South Peace face.

When designing orange shirts last year with some of her employees, Horseman said the meaning of the day was discussed.

Some of the shirts, featuring the Every Child Matters slogan, sparked discussion.

“Every Child Matters for 365 days in a calendar year,” said Horseman.

“Sept. 30 is one day out of those 365 days to acknowledge and to respect Indian residential school survivors. It is orange shirt day.

“Every Child Matters whitewashes Indian residential school survivors … because when you think Every Child Matters, you're thinking of every child in the world. You're not singling out Indian residential schools survivors.

She said she will never consider Sept. 30 to be Truth and Reconciliation Day. “I will fight the government on that every single time I talk to them.

“You can't tell us this is truth and reconciliation and shove it down our throats and say you're going to accept it because we said truth and reconciliation,” said Horseman.

“The true reconciliation needs to be with the Treaty 8 nations; we need to reconcile our children back to the land.

“That's the real reconciliation.”

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

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