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Orillia teams to mark Orange Jersey Project Wednesday night

Citizens urged to wear orange and pack Rotary Place for two hockey games, drumming, addresses from local leaders and educational activities
This year, two Orillia teams will be participating in the Orange Jersey Project with games and events Wednesday night at Rotary Place. Above is the U18 team that will be participating.

Organizers are asking citizens to wear orange and pack Rotary Place Wednesday for a night of hockey and reflection.

The two Orillia minor hockey teams playing that night are among hundreds of teams from across Canada that have been selected to participate in the Orange Jersey Project.

The project is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Report's Call to Action 87. This year, in honouring the understanding that every child matters, the focus is in response to Call to Action No. 90. That states: 'We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing:

  • In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples.
  • An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes.
  • Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples.
  • Anti-racism awareness and training programs.

According to the project website, the Orange Jersey project was born out of an idea: “What if we could use the power of sport to serve as a vehicle toward educating today’s young athletes about the history of the Indian Residential School System and strengthen the path toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.”

The evening will be kicked off at 6:50 p.m. with drumming from the Orillia Secondary School Soaring Hawk Singers in the lobby of the west Orillia arena.

At 7:30 p.m. the U12 AA Terriers will begin the on-ice action. There will be an opening address and official puck drop prior to the game.

The second game, featuring the U18 C Terriers, will be kicked off at 8:50 p.m. with an opening address from Rama First Nation Chief Ted Williams.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. people can also check out the Indigenous People’s Atlas of Canada , a giant floor map in the tournament room; it will be available for viewing until 9 p.m.

Community members are invited to join in the team's effort to raise awareness by attending the game and wearing orange if possible. Orange T-shirts will be available for sale at $25 each. All funds go to Rama's Binoojinyage gaa-bi-giiwejib, Children Who Came Home.

All are welcome to attend and support the initiative.


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