Winnipeg welcomes #KokumScarfCampaign

Winnipeg welcomes #KokumScarfCampaign, Iryna Chyrkova

Social media campaign #KokumScarfCampaign came to Winnipeg.

This campaign was created to protect indigenous women and to empower them. #KokumScarfCampaign asks young women of indigenous descent to share pictures in colourful skirts and scarves or kokums around their necks, such as their grandmothers and great-grandmothers were wearing in the past. Each girl is also asked to sign a photo and to tell what exactly makes her so strong and resilient.

On Sunday afternoon the photo shoot was held in Winnipeg. Director Diandre Thomas-Hart organized it.

"I thought, what a beautiful idea, it's so awesome," Thomas-Hart told before a group of women and children met for the shoot Sunday afternoon. "There're so many powerful, amazing people doing great work here in their own communities so I thought let's raise them up and empower them."

The campaign was started by an indigenous woman from Saskatchewan, Tala Tootoosis, and the main goal was to show how beautiful and individual women are and how they glorify their beauty and their origins.

“That kokum, that power, the power to scold. That power to love you, that power to be strong. That power to wake up at 6 a.m. and start cutting up deer meat and making bannock and cleaning the house — and she's 85," she told recently.

The woman added that all indigenous girls can prove that they are stronger than they actually seem.

The director of the Eagle's Nest Youth Resource and Recreation Program for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Elissa Gabriel, also appeared in front of the camera on Sunday. She was wearing a beautiful colourful skirt. She said that such events give hope and uplift many girls and women.

The campaign will end on December 31st. 4 people will be named winners and will receive various prizes. However, women will be able to continue uploading their photos even after #KokumScarfCampaign ends, perhaps Tootoosis will make a book in the future. 

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