Phyllis Webstad is doing a public presentation on Saturday in the United Church at Five Corners.

Phyllis Webstad is doing a public presentation on Saturday in the United Church at Five Corners.

Langley hosts woman whose story inspired Orange Shirt Day

A Williams Lake woman has been in schools this week and gives a public presentation Saturday.

Phyllis Webstad showed up to school at the age of six in the new shiny orange shirt from her grandmother.

At the age of six, Phyllis was excited to have a store-bought outfit to start school. Her family managed to scrape together some money for one outfit. Her orange shirt along with the rest of her clothes were taken away when she arrived at the residential school in Williams Lake many years ago.

She is the guest speaker at an event hosted by Langley’s Journey to Reconciliation Committee this Saturday and visited some local schools this week.

Webstad wrote The Orange Shirt Story in 2018. It served as the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day. The day is marked on Sept. 30 to correspond with when children were taken away from their families and forced by law to attend residential schools.

“Orange Shirt Day is a conversation starter about all aspects of residential schools,” Webstad said. “Each Sept. 30 we honour survivors and their families, including those children that never returned home. Every child matters.”

Her presentation is happening on Saturday, Sept. 22. It starts with a welcoming at 6:30 p.m. and finishes with everyone socializing after. Tickets are $10 and available on eventbrite.ca. The presentation is in the United Church at Five Corners (216th Street and 48th Avenue). Copies of her book will be available that evening.

• Tickets

Phyllis Webstad (nee Jack) is Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and Irish/French heritage. She was born in Dog Creek and lives in Williams Lake.

Orange Shirt Day