Original Published on Sep 10, 2022 at 17:57
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A nation-wide Orange Shirt campaign was initiated to honour the survivors of the Canadian Residential School, and local store owners and entrepreneurs are doing their part to support the endeavour.
Joan Setz-Mole, owner of Sweetpeas Clothing in Peace River, Alberta, says this is the second year she’s made orange shirts available at her store and she’s increased her order for the 2022 campaign.
She explains she is Metis and she wanted to do her part to support all those affected.
“Last year I could only find the shirts available through a university out of B.C.,” she says, noting that the demand was so high they ran out of the shirts very quickly.
“This year I was able to find a new company to order from, with the design coming from John Wilson of the Haisla Nation.”
Setz-Mole says she has had many requests for hoodies and for children’s shirts, both of which she managed to order for this year’s Orange Shirt Day.
Lado will be donating five per cent of all sales to the Orange Shirt Society, the shirt designer Wilson will be donating fiver per cent of the proceeds, and Setz-Mole will be donating five per cent to the Sagitawa Friendship Society in town.
“I wanted to order plenty to so we could meet the demand,” says Setz-Mole, noting that she and her husband both gave their shirts to others last year because there were so many requests for shirts. “Sagitawa does so much for our community, they help anyone who goes there and needs it. I thought they would be an important group to give back to.” She says she is currently taking orders, but they are going quickly with 30 already sold.
The Sagitawa Friendship Society is a non-profit organization in Peace River.
Its mission is to provide culturally based programs and services to the people of the town. The centre provides many programs and services for free including WiFi, shelter from the elements, reading material, and so much more.
Sagitawa Friendship Society is also selling orange shirts with money raised going back into programming for the survivors of residential schools.
Orange shirts are being worn on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as a symbolic way to remember and support the survivors and the children lost in the residential school system. If you’d like to order a shirt from Sweetpeas Clothing, please phone (780) 624-3639.