Cochrane artist Valentina Fenton put a lot of thought into this year's design ahead of next week's annual Orange Shirt Day. 

Last year's t-shirt featured three tipis. A blue, rainbow and pink one that represented all genders, but the local mother decided to switch it up this year.  

"We went with the buffalo because the buffalo is very sacred to the First Nations People. It literally fed us, clothed us and historically we would use every piece. We believe in honouring the animals."   

Fenton, who is in school completing her Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies degree and drives a school bus, said it was a pretty special feeling to see a local student donning one of her shirts recently. 

"I said that's my shirt, I made that shirt, and he goes, 'What, that's so cool?!' And I was like, that IS so cool. I actually got to see a kid that wasn't my child, or a friend's child wear it. It was really nice, it was a great feeling. It's always nice to know that you're supported." 

The t-shirts can be purchased at Shredz Shop and Great Things in Store

Last year Fenton used proceeds from the shirt sales to purchase Cree language books for Cochrane classrooms. 

She plans to donate money this year to local elders who are residential school survivors as well as the Cousins Skateboard Community who offer camps to kids in Mînî Thnî each summer. 

Sept. 30 will mark the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day when many people will wear orange to recognize the legacy of the Canadian residential school system.

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