Tikinagan invites children and youth to partake in anti-bullying logo designing contest
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
In an effort to prevent bullying and cyberbullying and promote awareness in First Nation communities, Tikinagan Child and Family Services are conducting a logo-designing contest, as part of their campaign. The first part of the two-part contest, for First Nation children and youth (Grades 1-12), commenced on October 19, in more than 30 First Nation communities.
Associate Executive Director of Tikinagan Child and Family Services, Rachel Tinney shared with The Bulletin, “The logo contest started November 23 and will run until December 18. The deadline for submission will be December 18, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Submissions can be emailed to [email protected], or dropped off to your local Tikinagan Office.”
The first part of the contest invited children and youth to submit a name/slogan for the anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying campaign. The second part of the campaign calls for children and youth to submit a logo for the campaign to compliment the winning slogan. The slogan, created by Joni from Lac Seul First Nation, is “Red Alert, Bullying Hurts.” Tinney shared, “We are asking for the designs to be original ideas. Logos can be done by hand or digitally. This is a great opportunity for children and youth to be creative and helping us develop this campaign.”
Tinney stated that they have had over 130 submissions from a wide-range of ages for the slogan contest, and are hoping to get at least 100 logos sent in for this contest. Tinney added, “The Tikinagan prevention framework is Mamow Oshki Pimagihowin, means “working together to learn new life skills.” Along with our partners, schools, and other adults involved, we believe the solutions to addressing bullying and cyberbullying starts with involving and engaging children and youth. If we can actively engage children and youth, which is what our slogan and logo campaign aims to do, then there is a much greater likelihood that we will bring about the desired change.
Tinney shared, “We know that children and youth model what they observe. That is why everyone needs to work together to demonstrate kind and caring behaviors to everyone in their community. This includes teaching them what is right and wrong. This is everyone’s responsibility in our communities, starting at home, extending to our schools, and throughout the community. The more challenging arena is the online community, which can be hard for adults to monitor.”
According to Tikinagan’s news release about the bullying prevention campaign, Tikinagan Child & Family Services joined forces with Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA), and Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN) to conduct the campaign and raise awareness about the devastating effects of bullying and cyberbullying on children and youth. The two-part contest will be judged by a panel of First Nation youth. Once the slogan and logo have been decided, Tikinagan and its partners will embark upon a round of educational activities in schools and communities to raise awareness about bullying and anti-bullying, and the role and responsibility of all community members in prevention of bullying.
Tinney shared that she believes bullying in general has increased and cyber-bullying is especially a problem. “Kids are exposed to and have access to media platforms that provide the illusion of anonymity. In other words, some kids think they can say things on-line that they wouldn’t necessarily say to someone in person.” Tinney added, “We’d like to think that our campaign will heighten awareness and help to create an environment of zero tolerance. This is a community issue and as such must be addressed by the community. This is a community issue and we hope that communities and other service providers will promote awareness. We would always be available to partner and support efforts to end bullying.”