A large crowd of school students marched in Nelson on Sept. 29 in the Children’s Heartbeat Parade to recognize Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led movement to honour residential school Survivors and their families.
Many wore orange shirts, sang and played drums.
The parade was witnessed by Indigenous elder Donna Wright. She told the Nelson Star she spent some of her childhood in a residential convent for orphans, most of whom were Indigenous.
“Considering what I witnessed them going through to this day, and that now people are saying, ‘Every child matters and we can’t let that happen again’ – I’m emotional, that is the only way I can say it.”
The emotion, she said, comes from the awareness that everyone belongs. “We already belong. If you breathe air, you belong.”
The parade preceded events on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The West Kootenay Métis will host an event Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Lakeside Park rotary shelter. All are welcome to attend.