KIKINO - Teachers, staff, and community elders have come together to support the Grandmother’s Ribbon campaign at the Kikino School.
The project is using traditional Metis beliefs and customs, to send a message of hope during challenging times caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Grandmother’s Ribbon campaign involves creating decorations with purple ribbons which is a healing colour, according to Metis elders, says Laurie Thompson, the principal at Kikino Elementary School.
Thompson says that it is an important campaign which brings the idea of unity and caring during the isolation of the pandemic.
“The ribbon was to be shared as a symbolic message to ourselves as women, to our families, and to the community about hope in these dark times,” said Thompson.
The campaign was spearheaded by Women of the Metis Nation — a national organization recognizing the roles and responsibilities of Metis women across Canada. The ribbon and the purple colour is highlighted on the website of the Women of the Metis Nation.
“The ribbon itself is a beautiful light and dark purple, it’s got some shades of pink in it, and so those are symbolic of hope, light, and joy,” says Thompson, explaining that the grandmother portion of the campaign represents any person who has been through experiences and knows that elders have seen struggles and hardships, but also know that those challenges can be overcome.
“COVID-19 is really a moment in time, and the uncertainty and stress that comes with it will pass. Sometimes we think it’s forever, but it’s not - it will end,” said Thompson.
School officials have ordered two large boxes of the purple-coloured ribbon for any community members who would like to take part and show their support. Many areas of the school are already adorned with the colourful reminders of tradition and hope.
“The colour purple is healing so that we heal ourselves from our mental notions of this moment in time and that we continually self-reflect,” said Thompson. “The ribbon reminds us to create balance, harmony and awareness and have the collective power and wisdom of the grandmothers.”