NESS & NLG Observe Orange Shirt Day 2019

Staff from Nisga’a Lisims Government and NESS organized a march in New Aiyansh for Orange Shirt Day, in honour of the survivors of residential schools. Approximately 50 NLG staff and community members marched from the gazebo to NESS, where students welcomed them.

In the gymnasium, NLG President Eva Clayton spoke to an assembly of elementary and high school age students about the importance of Orange Shirt Day. A survivor herself, President Clayton stressed the importance of talking about these experiences. “It’s not a good story,” she said. “But we cannot heal without talking about our hurts.”

President Clayton addresses the students

“You are the strength of your families and the strength of our nation,” she said. “And we must remember the children who did not make it home. There were approximately 6,000 children who never returned from residential schools.”

Sim’oogit Ni’isyuus, Willard Martin, also a survivor, spoke briefly about his experience. “They wanted us not to be indigenous,” he said. “They wanted us to be like the rest of Canada, and they were very diligent about that.”

NLG Staff and NESS Students

The event ended with a performance from the students, and Gitlaxt’aamiks Chief Councillor Keith Tait led the gymnasium in the singing of Limx Gawaganii (he Peace Song), after which the children danced out by tribe.

Thank you to NESS for hosting the event, and a special thank you to those elders and other survivors that marched and helped to bring awareness to Orange Shirt Day.

NLG Terrace Office

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