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CP hopes to spark truth, reconciliation conversation with orange locomotive

Orange Shirt Society excited about the commitment
Canadian Pacific will launch its orange painted locomotive on Thursday, Sept. 30. (Photo submitted)

Canadian Pacific (CP) has painted one of its locomotives orange to help spread the word that ‘Every Child Matters.’

The orange locomotive will go into service on Thursday, Sept. 30, Canada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

CP has also committed to host the Orange Shirt Society logo on its corporate vehicles.

Thanking CP for its commitment, Orange Shirt Society president Jerome Beauchamp said it will provide CP as a corporation an opportunity to learn more and continue to act on its commitment to move reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians forward.

“We at the Orange Shirt Society are excited to partner with CP and would love to help CP along its journey,” he added.

Orange Shirt Society executive director Laio Hyrcha and secretary Blair Cunningham were in Calgary this week to see the “Every Child Matters” locomotive which CP will put into service on Thursday.

The Orange Shirt Society looks forward to working with CP to continue to raise awareness and the possible involvement of founder and ambassador, Phyllis Webstad.

Webstad first told her story of her first day at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in 2013 and in September of that year, the first Orange Shirt Day was observed on Sept. 30.

She was six years old in 1973, excited to be wearing her new clothes and going to school for the first time, but upon arrival at the school her shiny new orange shirt was taken away.

“This was the beginning of the feeling like I didn’t matter,” Webstad has recalled many times.

Since then, her story and Orange Shirt Day have been catalysts for learning about the tragedy of Canada’s Indian residential schools, for honouring the survivors and remembering those who did not.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Orange truck to be used as vehicle to raise awareness for truth and reconciliation

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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