Northern Secwépemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) chiefs in B.C.’s Interior are denouncing a social media post this week which is attempting to use the Orange Shirt movement to call for a worldwide walk-out of school-aged children in support of the ‘Freedom Convoy.’
First Nations in B.C. have already voiced their opposition to the truckers’ convoy protests in Ottawa and other Canadian cities earlier this week.
But a new call to action by one of the Freedom Convoy organizers Pat King to declare Feb. 11 Orange Shirt Day has the chiefs publicly standing in solidarity with Orange Shirt Day founder Phyllis Webstad and the society who is calling on Canadians to reject the notion.
“The Freedom Convoy has aligned itself with anti-Indigenous rhetoric and behaviours and does not reflect the movement of Orange Shirt – Every Child Matters, nor do the statements and the representations bring made by this group on social media, reflect any semblance of free, prior and informed consent,” noted the chiefs in a news release issued Friday morning (Feb. 11).
The chiefs call on all who support truth and reconciliation efforts in Canada to “end the anti-Indigenous behaviour of the Freedom 2022 convoy.”
September 30 officially marks both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. This day was declared a federal statutory holiday and honours the lost children, survivors and their families and communities who were impacted by the Indian Residential School system.
It is a day for people to reflect, learn and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
The NStQ is compromised of four Secxwépemc communities in the Cariboo region.