Some area schools in the Alberta Lesser Slave Lake region celebrated the second annual National Ribbon Skirt Day on Jan 4.
Ribbon Skirt Day recognizes the historic and continued value of Indigenous women in Canada, says the Canada senate bill which declared National Ribbon Skirt Day in March 2021.
“The ribbon skirt is a centuries-old spiritual symbol of womanhood, identity, adaptation and survival.”
Ribbon Skirt Day was started in response to an 11-year-old First Nations girl in Saskatchewan being shamed by a staff member for wearing her ribbon skirt back to school on the first day after Christmas holiday, says the High Prairie School Division ad in the Jan. 4, 2023 South Peace News.
On Jan. 4, 2021, her family and a drum group accompanied her to school in their ribbon skirts and ribbon shirts. There was an outcry against this racism, which culminated in a the Canadian senate declaring a national day.
HPSD students had optional classes to make ribbon skirts and to learn about the cultural significance behind them.
Swan River School also recognized the day.
by Pearl Lorentzen
Published January 15, 2023