Read the November 2023 issue of Achimowina – NCN’s community, government, business, arts and events news.
NCN Youth Leader Speaks at Orange Shirt Day Walk
On September 30, MKO held an event in Thompson called Orange Shirt Day: Survivors Honour Walk to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Many NCN Citizens attended the walk, wearing orange shirts that were bright against a blue sky. The walk started at Macleans Park and ended at the TRCC Gymnasium.
Those who attended had the opportunity to hear our own NNOC Junior Chief Brooklyn Linklater speak.
She gave a powerful and emotionally charged speech, and has given permission to print it here in full.
“Good morning everyone. My name is Brooklyn Linklater, and I’m here on behalf of Chief Angela Levasseur, who unfortunately couldn’t be here today.
Today is about Truth and Reconciliation, or in other words, Orange Shirt Day. The history of Orange Shirt Day comes from residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, whose grandmother bought her an orange shirt to wear to her first day of school. Phyllis wore her shirt proudly, but upon arrival to William Lake’s Residential School, authorities stripped Phyllis of her orange shirt.
They cut her hair, and she never saw her orange shirt again.
Today, we wear orange shirts to remind our oppressors that we are still here, and we are strong and resilient.
Today, we remember the children who didn’t make it home, and those who still are healing from it all. It’s been 27 years since the last school closed in 1996, 10 years before I was born. This has affected my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even my parents. Let me emphasize this is not something that happened centuries ago.
My heart goes out to those who are still healing from residential schools, and all the horrors they endured behind those doors. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and it makes me proud knowing our people are finally being heard and receiving a bit of justice.
Yes, just a bit of justice. Nothing could ever make up for what residential schools did to our people, and no amount of money can take away the trauma from our survivors. We are left with intergenerational trauma, a culture that our youth don’t know, and for most of us, a dying language. After almost losing our culture, the children who never made it home, our people are now struggling with addictions because of all the trauma they went through.
What does Orange Shirt Day means to me? It means that we Indigenous people are strong. We are fighters, and will continue to fight until the landfill is searched completely.
When I heard that they found those 215 children my heart shattered. I don’t know the exact number but from what I’ve read at least 4,000 children were found. Most of them unmarked. Those children had names, beautiful ones even before the schools changed them.
Today we also honour the Residential School survivors. To those who attended those schools, from the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry you had to go through this awful thing you had to go through for years. And I know nothing will ever be enough to serve you justice for what you
went through, but your story matters. You matter. Your stories are valid. You are valid. We hurt for you, and we welcome you with open arms. We will always be here to listen and learn.”
KITITAHWINAOW ACHIMOWIN COMMUNITY
- OKIMAHKAN OTY’AMIWIN From the Chief – Highlights and Recent Activities
- KITITAHWINAOW ACHIMOWIN COMMUNITY – Congratulations to Dr. Tammy Stoneman
- OSICHIKIWINAH AKWAH KAWIATI AETUKUMIKUK Arts & Events – Orange Shirt Day: Survivors Honour Walk
- Chief Levasseur Protecting Citizens at AMC General Assembly
- Chief Levasseur Reflects on Truth and Reconciliation
- ISC Visit to ATEC
- A Spooktacular Halloween
- Learn More About the Women’s Shelter
- Message from an NCN Elder: Clifford Spence
- Standings are Great for the NCN Flames!
- Finding Peace Through Therapy
- Making Medical Stay Options Less Stressful
- DevCorp’s Kobliski Retires
- New Nicwakawinikansihk Honour at Thompson Safeway
- Message From Public Health – Help Reduce the Spread of Respiratory Infections
- Fundraiser for NCN Special Olympian
- NNCEA Success and Highlights
- NCN Minor Hockey Improving
- Campbell Wins Hockey Manitoba Award
- CITIZEN PROFILE: Shirleena Spence Tait
- First Nations Workers and the Canada Pension Plan
- Parks and Rec Never Slows Down!
- Register for NCN Christmas Cheer Board Gift Cards