To mark the jersey launch, Kamloops Rugby Club hosted a ceremony at Exhibition Park ahead of the Women’s team’s 24-21 victory over Simon Fraser Rugby Club.
May George of the Coldwater Indian Band and Lucy Henry conducted the smudging. Devyn McMillan of the Syilx Territory Okanagan Indian Band performed prayer and drumming, alongside Hank Yamelst of the Pokheitsk Indian band. Territorial acknowledgement was presented by Jesse Olynk.
In May this year, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered on the site of a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops.
Kamloops Rugby Club posted on its website: “Rugby is one of the most inclusive sports worldwide. It doesn’t matter your shape, size, fitness level, or background – if you step out on the pitch with us, you are one of us: one in, all in.”
“Recently Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc took a very brave, very challenging step towards truth and reconciliation. They pulled the curtain back and revealed 215 children. Those 215 now number in the thousands.”
“To show support for our indigenous brothers and sisters, we have taken a moment to introduce a new jersey. This jersey alters our colours ever so slightly. Our purple remains true, but our gold has taken a slightly orange hue. We did this because orange is a colour that matters more than ever. More importantly, our jerseys bare a permanent memorial arm band, stating every child matters. Because every child, all children matter. To our indigenous brothers and sisters, we see you, we stand with you.”
For more information about Kamloops Rugby Club, visit their website.
For more information on Every Child Matters, visit the Orange Shirt Day website.