Ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, the Under-14 AA Toronto East Enders participated in the Orange Jersey Project.
The players wore the jerseys to school on September 29 and on the ice for practice on September 30.
The Orange Jersey Project uses the power of sport to educate young athletes about the history of the residential school system, strengthen the path towards truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and promote the physical and mental wellness of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth through sport.
Via a team Instagram post, the East Enders shared their commitment to unity and teamwork which extends beyond the ice: “Let’s harness our passion for hockey to raise awareness, educate ourselves, and support initiatives that promote respect and reconciliation. Together, we can make a lasting impact.”
The Orange Jersey Project was originally created by Tyler Fuller, an Indigenous man from Kawatoose First Nation located in Saskatchewan. Since the idea and the creation of both the Orange Shirt Society and the Orange Jersey Project, the initiative has evolved into a nationally recognized and impactful organization.
“We’re proud to be participating in the Orange Jersey Project, aimed at raising awareness and education about truth and reconciliation,” East Enders Head Coach Tanya Witty shared. “While hockey unites us on the ice, it’s initiatives like these that teach vital life skills and nurture personal growth in our players beyond the rink.”
For more information about the Orange Jersey Project, visit OrangeJerseyProject.ca.