City of Surrey Honours Orange Shirt Day
September 26, 2019
The City of Surrey and the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) honoured Orange Shirt Day with a ceremony held at City Hall today. Drummers from SFU Surrey and staff from the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development were also in attendance. The noon hour event honoured the resilience and bravery of Indian residential school survivors and their families.
“Orange Shirt Day is a time to acknowledge and remember the injustices of the past, and it is also a day to come together in a spirit of reconciliation,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We are dedicated to working with Aboriginal governments, local governments, schools and communities to continue our work in strengthening the Aboriginal community.”
Surrey has one of the largest urban Indigenous populations in British Columbia and the City of Surrey partners with the SUILC to create a city in which Indigenous contributions are valued, where reconciliation is a priority, and where every Indigenous person has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
“Our efforts to heal from the lasting impacts of the residential school system are going to require that we work together as a community to build and strengthen relationships at all levels of the community so as to improve the educational attainment, economic participation and health of the Indigenous peoples in Surrey,” said Keenan McCarthy, Co-Chair of the Surrey Urban Indigenous Committee.
In 2016, Surrey City Council endorsed SUILC’s All Our Relations: Surrey Urban Aboriginal Social Innovation Strategy. Through this strategy, Surrey engages in a range of activities that represent reconciliation in action, working toward creating a City that acknowledges and addresses the experiences and needs of Surrey’s growing Indigenous population. The collaboration between SUILC and the City of Surrey to commemorate Orange Shirt Day is one example non-Indigenous and Indigenous organizations working together toward reconciliation.
For more information about SUILC, please visit surrey.ca/indigenous or email us at IndigenousLeadership@surrey.ca
For program inquiries:
Senior Social Planner
City of Surrey
For media inquiries:
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
Co-Chair, Surrey urban Indigenous Leadership Committee
Nova Métis Heritage Association