It's only been three days since we announced that we're taking preorders for Native Northwest's new t-shirt in support of Orange Shirt Day 2021 (Ts’msyen artist Morgan Asoyuf's Every Child Matters design) and hundreds of our readers have already placed orders for one.
In light of the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, it's been heartening to see so many people showing their support.
And naturally, there have been some questions about exactly where the proceeds of the sales of these t-shirts will go.
As previously noted, the net proceeds are to be split between two organizations; partial proceeds will go to the Orange Shirt Society (an organization that Native Northwest's president is on the board of), and partial proceeds will go to the BC Aboriginal Child Care Association, which is a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous early learning and child care in our province.
As the wholesaler of these t-shirts to us (and many other B.C. retailers), Native Northwest will be making donations to both groups. The dollar amount will be calculated after the final order numbers come in and they cover the manufacturing, administrative, and operating costs of getting them out the door.
As a retailer, we've marked up the price of the shirts we're selling to match the price of all of the other t-shirts we sell ($25 each), and after we cover all of our costs we'll also be donating our net proceeds to the two organizations listed above.
No private businesses that I know of will be profiting from this t-shirt, and it's safe to say that based on the number of sales we've made so far, two charities will be receiving thousands of dollars each from us, thanks to our thoughtful readers.
Not only will these groups be getting funding to help them, but hundreds (if not thousands) more people will be wearing orange t-shirts in support. To me, that's the most important thing here; getting people to wear these shirts.
But getting shirts onto people's backs isn't enough. As has been brought to light over the last week, we have a very long way to go in terms of reconciliation in this country, and as long as I head up Vancouver Is Awesome as its publisher we will be committed to helping revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.
I'm proud to announce today that last week we finalized an agreement that will see us publishing regular monthly columns penned by our friends at Reconciliation Canada. Some will be authored by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, and others by different people working within their organization.
These columns will appear online, and in our free weekly newspaper that gets sent out to 112,000 homes in Vancouver.
Again, the road to reconciliation will be a long one. Please consider buying an Every Child Matters t-shirt from us to help aid in the immediate effort at hand, and count on Vancouver Is Awesome for not only coverage of the current issues surrounding reconciliation, but for continued conversations and coverage regarding long-term solutions.
For immediate assistance to those who may need it, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.