ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Lobo cross country team has a race filled with big competition on Friday. UNM ranks third in the country, and the team is racing at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, which features three other top ten teams. For Lobo sophomore, Ali Upshaw, and many others in the Native American community, the day carries extra meaning


Story continues below:


September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, which is a day for healing and reconciliation for the Native American community. Upshaw is using her platform as an athlete to bring awareness to the day.

“This a reflection of all the things indigenous kids have been stripped of, their culture identity, their culture upbringing, their family ties and all those things coming together within the orange shirt,” said Upshaw. “September 30th is a reminder of all these stolen children that went to boarding school against their own will. There are over 300 boarding schools across the U.S. and Canada and over six thousand indigenous children being unearthed from these very large mass burial graves.”

The Lobos will wear orange shirts during warmups, as well as orange ribbons during the race in support. In addition, UNM head football coach Danny Gonzales said he plans on wearing an orange ribbon during the Lobos game against UNLV.