By Laura Keil
Art class students at Valemount Secondary have once again created T-shirt designs for Orange Shirt Day, and one design was picked by staff and community members to print and sell. The first batch of shirts sold out quickly. Art teacher Jory Wong says she will post on facebook if more are available prior to Sept 30th, which is the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
Maya in Grade 9 designed the selected logo for this year’s shirts. She says the the heart shape represents reconciliation and loving all humans as equals, the flowers and plants that make up the shape of the heart, represent all the people that did not make it out of the residential schools alive and that we will never forget them, and the hands that surround the heart represent reaching out to others and coming together as a community.
Tobi, a Grade 12 student, says the woman in her design represents the survivors of the Residential Schools. The hair represents connection and remembrance, the big feather represents growth and strength and the small feathers represent the lost children who didn’t survive the Residential Schools.
Rachael, a Gr. 11 student, says she designed a piece that represents reconciliation and growth in Canada. The girl in the center represents residential school survivors. The flowers behind the girl represent growth and change. “Like the growth of flowers, the process of reconciliation can take time, and though it may be too slow to actively notice a difference at times, the result will end up beautiful!” she said. The roots growing underneath the girl represent growth, but they also represent importance.
“Being proud of one’s culture is something that isn’t always very visible from the surface, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Along with this, the roots represent the concept of everything being connected.”
The butterfly above the girl’s hands represents the beauty of change. “Butterflies go through plenty of change throughout their life cycle, and they end up flourishing in beauty.”