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Orange Shirt Day allows survivor to share her story

A Grande Prairie woman is sharing what she faced during her time in a residential school. This year’s Orange Shirt Day event will be the first-time survivor Hazel Robinson has spoken publicly about her experiences. She says she decided to come forward after hearing people talk negatively about the effects the schools have had.

“People were saying why don’t they just get over it. Just things that really made me angry. I thought you know what, maybe it’s time for somebody who has experience with residential Schools to stand up and say this is real, it’s not something that’s a figment of peoples imagination. This really happened.”

The day was created in 2013 and was named because of the orange shirt survivor Phyllis Webstad had taken away from her at a school in Williams Lake, B.C. The day is used as a way to continue the conversation about the effects residential schools have had on the people who attended them.

Overall, Robinson spent two years in a school and says it’s important for people to hear first hand how it affected her and changed her life.

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“There are so many things that need to be put out there and if we can give firsthand experiences from the people, that would make an impact. This is my chance to really tell what my life was about.”

The event will feature speakers and displays and will take place from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m. on September 30 at Centre 2000.

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