The Beaver Valley Nitehawks will don a new jersey in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Beaver Valley will wear the special jersey for its game against the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday, Oct. 1, and asks Nitehawks fans to join the team in support of Indigenous people and in recognition of the historic day.
“We cannot achieve reconciliation without first acknowledging the atrocities committed to our Indigenous community in Canada,” said Nitehawks president Steve Piccolo. “On Oct. 1, in recognition of Sept. 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks will reveal their Indigenous jersey and will take a moment to reflect on our tragic history.”
National Truth and Reconciliation Day was introduced on Sept. 20, 2021 and made a federal statutory holiday that honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
“Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process,” says Canadian Heritage.
It was officially made a holiday on June 3, 2021, shortly after the remains of 215 children were found at the site the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
“Children are to be honoured, loved, respected, and encouraged to thrive,” said Piccolo. “To honour and remember the lost children, this jersey reflects the multi-generational impact of residential schools and the resilience of those who survived.”
In 2015, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) reviewed the impact of the country’s residential schools and published 94 Calls to Action.
The calls to action pushed for all levels of government to work together to help rebuild the relationship between Indigenous peoples and other Canadians.
Later that year, the TRC released its entire 6-volume final report that can be read on the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website.
While the official Truth and Reconciliation Day was introduced by the government, Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led movement that is also honoured on Sept. 30.
According to the Orange Shirt Society, the day is intent on generating conversation on all aspects of residential schools and to reaffirm that survivors matter as do all that have been affected.
The doors open for the Nitehawks game against the Dynamiters at 6 p.m. on Saturday, with the puck drop at 7 p.m.
“We encourage our fans to educate themselves on the genocide of these atrocities,” added Piccolo. “We invite you to wear an orange shirt to this game in honour and support of the lost children.”