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Tk’emlúps Tim Hortons No. 1 in Canada in raising money for residential school survivors

The restaurant sold 2,300 orange sprinkle doughnuts in one day, the most of any Tim Hortons in Canada, which sold the items from Sept. 30 and Oct. 6. All proceeds — $1.6 million — are going to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
Tk'emlúps Tim Hortons orange sprinkle donuts
Tk'emlúps Tim Hortons restaurant co-owners Joe Quewezance and Mitch Shuter outside their restaurant. Former Tk'emlúps chief Shane Gottfriedson is also a co-owner.

A Kamloops Tim Hortons location sold a single-day record 2,300 orange sprinkle doughnuts in the restaurant chain’s campaign to raise funds for residential school survivors.

More than $1.6 million was raised in one week, between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6, from sales of the specialty desert item across Canada, with 100 per cent of the retail price being donated, according to the company.

The funds raised are going to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
The fundraising campaign was developed by a group of Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners in a bid to help out after the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc band discovered signs of 200 probable unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in May.

That working group included Shane Gottfriedson, co-owner of the Tim Hortons restaurant on the Tk’emlups reserve (at Highway 5 and Shuswap Road) and former chief of the band. Fellow co-owners are Joe Quewezance and Mitch Shuter.

The eatery's 2,300 orange-sprinkled doughnuts were the most sold in one day at any Tim Hortons restaurant across the country.

“It’s such an amazing result and we are so proud,” Gottfriedson said0 in a Tim Hortons press release.

The orange doughnuts symbolize Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 30), which has been observed every year since 2013 to educate people and promote awareness in Canada about the Indian residential school system and the impact it has had on Indigenous communities for more than 100 years.

Orange Shirt Day was born through stories shared in 2013 in Williams Lake by Phyllis Jack Webstad, a residential school survivor. She spoke of her first day at residential school, when she was stripped naked at the age if six and her new orange shirt — a gift from her grandmother — was removed and never returned.

The Orange Shirt Society raises awareness about Canada’s history of residential schools, along with honouring the survivors and their families and the children who never returned home.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society has a more than 20-year history of providing services to residential school survivors, their families and those dealing with intergenerational traumas. One of the society’s goals is to continually expand support to partner organizations and maximize access to culturally sensitive, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual care.



Editor's note: This story was corrected from an earlier version that stated the Kamloops restaurant recorded 2,300 sales in one week as the most in Canada. It was in fact as single-day record.