Wednesday, February 26, students, teachers and notable figures all
over the world will promote the anti-bullying campaign "Pink Shirt
Day." The day is commemorated by anti-bullying advocates who will
wear pink shirts to promote awareness about bullying in school and
the effects of bullying on children in today's society.
The campaign, which was started in 2007 by two students in Nova
Scotia who sought to protect a fellow classmate, is now garnering
support from Indian country, particularly by Fashion Designer Jill
Setah and the design company Native Northwest.
In Setah's online blog First
Nation's Fashions, she encourages her fans to don pink t-shirts
Wednesday in honor of Pink Shirt Day, a cause she backs for personal
reasons. "As a First Nations Woman I was bullied in elementary school
for being First Nations. I would cry every day in class as the teacher
would do nothing," she wrote to Indian Country Today Media Network
"As a First Nations designer, my kids and I are making our own
pink shirts for Pink Shirt Day," she added.
On February 14, 2014, Native Northwest a three-decades-old company
that creates art by First Nations and Native American artists, debuted
their version of a Pink Shirt Day' t-shirt.
artist Andrew Williams designed the t-shirts emblazoned with a Haida
design and the word RESPECT. Money raised will go to aboriginal
women's shelters for abused women and for family events at Friendship
Centres, Native Northwest's website states. The shirts are available
online and retail for copy5 + shipping, or you can buy them in person
at 1644 West 75th in Vancouver.
Presently, the largest bastion of support comes from Canada's
CKNW 980 AM News radio station which mans the www.PinkShirtDay.ca
website and promotes the Pink Shirt Day campaign. According to the
site, "Last year over 160,000 people committed on Facebook to wear
pink and help stop bullying."
"Boys and Girls Clubs proudly participate in Pink Shirt Day
because it promotes awareness, understanding and openness about
the problem and a shared commitment to a solution. BGCGV relies
heavily on community support to deliver our daily Club programs.
Supporting Pink Shirt Day supports everyone who has experienced
bullying as well as Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver's
Setah expressed the message she and her children hope to share:
"I want my kids to learn to stand up for those who are not strong
enough to speak for themselves. I want my kids to have enough confidence
to not care what others think of them, I also want them to always
LOVE, Always have RESPECT for themselves and others, Always have
COURAGE, Always have HONESTY, Always have WISDOM, Always have HUMILITY
and most of all ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH!"