Ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, volunteers are preparing orange ribbons.
Also known as Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30 honours the more than 1,000 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves at former residential school sites, many of which are still unidentified.
Joyce Crone, a Huntsville-based Indigenous activist and founder of the Hope Arises project, says they’re looking for volunteers to cut and roll orange ribbons at the Huntsville Public Library, Thursday, Sept. 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m..
Volunteers will cut a 90-metre length of fabric into individual ribbons, each marked with the name of a real child from the residential school system.
“It’s just to create more awareness so that the whole idea of residential school doesn’t fade away, the whole idea of honouring the children,” says Crone. “Until all the children are found, Hope Arises will continue the orange ribbon campaign in Huntsville and abroad.”
On Orange Shirt Day, as well as the week before and after, Crone says they’ll give the ribbons to downtown businesses for display in their storefronts, as well as to anyone interested from the community.
“Take one home and display it. Put it in a tree, put it in your yard, put it on your property somehow. If you’re a child, put it on your schoolbag,” says Crone. “Just to create awareness and support, for the residential school survivors, and the children who have not come home.”
Those interested in helping with the ribbons can sign up on the library website, or by contacting Cara McQueen at 705-789-5232 ext. 3408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re looking for Indigenous, and non-Indigenous or settlers, to come out and just lend a hand, show support,” says Crone. “It’s just volunteering two hours of your time.”