National Ribbon Skirt Day – Celebrates the Spirit of Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender Diverse Peoples

Today is National Ribbon Skirt Day — a day designated for Canadians to learn more about Indigenous identity and culture.

The day is marked on January 4th, a day that saw a young girl returning to her school with community members by her side after she faced ridicule for the simple act of wearing her ribbon skirt to school.

Parliament declared the official day after a movement sparked more than two years ago by the girls story.

That girl is Isabella Kulak, a young member of the Cote First Nation. She decided to wear a ribbon skirt for a formal day at her school in Kamsack in December 2020.

Traditionally, ribbon skirts are worn by Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse individuals during ceremony, and special community events.
The skirts  represent strength and pride for those who wear them. A symbol of individuality and a testament to the spirit of the wearer. The skirts are a significant piece of indigenous culture.
But a staff member at her school remarked that the brightly patterned piece of clothing adorned with ribbons wasn’t considered formal enough.

The school division apologized, but Kulak’s story sparked a movement of Indigenous women posting photos of themselves donning their own ribbon skirts, and led to calls for a national day.

Kulak, now 12, says she plans to mark the occasion with a celebration at her home nation, which is planning an event.

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