Tikinagan encouraging people to Dress Purple on Oct. 27
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
If you think your seeing a lot of purple on October 27, it’s not your imagination.
Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies across Ontario have been donning purple every October 27 to raise awareness about the important role that individuals and communities play in supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families.
“This includes every adult’s legal duty to call their local Children’s Aid Society or Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agency if they have a concern about the safety or well-being of a child or youth. It also includes the responsibility to check their bias before making a report. Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, ability, poverty, and sexual orientation can lead to overreporting,” Tikinagan shared in a press release.
“Dress Purple Day offers an opportunity to encourage everyone to speak up for every child and youth’s right to safety and well-being in all spaces. Not just physical safety and well-being—children and youth have the right to have their intersectional identity, which includes culture, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity, protected and supported in all spaces.
“We use this day to raises awareness that Children’s Aid Societies and Indigenous Child and Family Well-Being Agencies are community organizations that are part of the circle of care that supports the well-being of children, youth, and families. At Tikinagan, we refer to this circle as the Wee-chee-way-win Circle,” Tikinagan added.
As Thelma Morris, Tikinagan’s Executive Director, explains, “Dress Purple Day is important to our organization. It gives us the opportunity to remind our communities that we are here for our children, youth, and families as a resource. Our philosophy, Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, doesn’t just include Tikinagan staff. It includes all our communities as we all work together to raise our children. We really hope to see everyone wearing purple on October 27th to show that they are part of every child’s circle of care.”
“Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, which means ‘Everyone working together to raise our children’, is the Tikinagan service model and works to keep families together, maintain our culture and respects the inherent authority of First Nations to care for our own children. Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin is rooted in our traditional customs of caring for children. In our culture, children are regarded as sacred gifts from the Creator, not only to the family but also to the larger community of extended family members. Everyone shares in the responsibility of protecting and caring for that child,” Tikinagan informed.
Tikinagan is calling on everyone to wear something purple on October 27 to show children, youth, and families that they are here to help!
More information on Dress Purple Day can be found on the Tikinagan website at https://bit.ly/3BddrlD .