Drummers from Central Elementary School played to students outside Merritt Secondary School on Sept. 30 in recognition of Orange Shirt Day.

The drummers played the women warriors and men warriors songs to honour the First Nations who went through residential school.

Orange Shirt Day is an initiative that sheds light on the injustices of residential school and spreads the message that every child matters regardless of race or religion.

This initiative gets its name from the story of one First Nations woman from Williams Lake and her experience on her first day of residential school.

Her grandmother bought her a new orange shirt, which was taken from her in exchange for a uniform.

“Once she arrived there they quickly stripped her of all her clothing, cut her hair and gave her a number instead of her name,” said Crystal McMaster, MSS First Nation support worker.

The experience left the woman feeling as though she didn’t matter — a belief she carried around with her into adulthood until she realized that wasn’t true, McMaster said.

In recognition of her experience and of those of all  across Canada who suffered the injustices of residential school, the town of Williams Lake began hosting an Orange Shirt Day three years ago.

The initiative has since spread across Canada and calls for people to wear an orange shirt in support.