VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed the club will observe the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday, on Thursday, September 30. In addition, there will be no youth programming across the nationwide Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System.
All Canadians are encouraged to educate themselves on the findings and calls to action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as wear orange on Orange Shirt Day to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools. For more information on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day CLICK HERE.
"This week we honour the children who never made it back home and express our deepest sympathies to the Survivors and all the families and communities affected. Throughout our entire club, we are reflecting on the heartbreaking and ongoing impacts of residential schools across our province and country,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC chief executive officer. “As a member of this community, we will continue our commitment to understanding the systemic trauma and injustices the Indigenous communities have experienced and advocate for the needs and rights of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.”
On Saturday, October 2, at the next home match, the club will host Indigenous Night at BC Place with over 500 members from the community attending the game.
All Vancouver Whitecaps FC and San Jose Earthquakes players will wear an Every Child Matters badge on the front of their jerseys. All VWFC staff members will wear an orange Every Child Matters shirt with artwork from Ts’msyan artist Morgan Asoyuf and the club encourages all fans to wear orange at the match.
Prior to the game, the ’Caps have partnered with Hope & Health, I-SPARC and BMO to deliver a full day of soccer programming at BC Place for Indigenous youth representing over 20 nations from across the province. The day kicks off with a jamboree led by Whitecaps FC coaches, tour of BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and concludes with tickets to the MLS match.
Prior to kickoff, Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack), a traditional Coast Salish performance group, will perform on the pitch, as well as halftime, and Teshawna Sihata, who is Spuzzum of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation, will sing O Canada.
In addition, the match’s Kid Captain will be Scarlett Sparrow-Felix, a member of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sts’ailes nations, and granddaughter of former Vancouver Whitecaps and Canadian men’s national team forward Terry Felix.
All activations and activities will follow BC provincial health guidelines. For more information on matchday health and safety protocols, visit whitecapsfc.com/matchday.