ROSIE ARCHIE - RIBBON SKIRT (2 SIZES)
For the next pro graphic, Colonialism celebrates a very important Indigenous woman in the skateboard community on Turtle Island, and team rider for Colonialism. Rosie Archie is from Tsq'escen' (Canim Lake) of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation. Tsq’escenemc means “The People of Broken Rock” and they are part of the lakes people of the Northern Shuswap. Her traditional language that she learned growing up is Secwepemcstin, known as the Shuswap language. Rosie has been skating for years and is known for incorporating and celebrating her culture through skateboarding. Colonialism Skateboards is honored to have Rosie added to the team. The graphic on the skateboard is Rosie’s first Ribbon Skirt. It was made by her mother, Mary-Anne Archie, in honour of her late sister, Tracy Archie. The skirt is worn in ceremony but also helps Rosie connect with herself and Mother Earth.
The pro graphic honors the deep history and education attached to Ribbon Skirts. The Ribbon Skirt is a symbol of resilience, sacredness, and survival but varies from nation to nation. Ribbon Skirts are traditionally worn for ceremonies by women, girls, and two-spirit individuals. The skirts are also not bound to one specific tribe or nation. The origins of the Ribbon Skirt are not known but the first documented one was recorded in 1802, but First Nations regalia has been around since time immemorial. From 1884 till 1951, the Indian Act banned Potlachs, Indigenous ceremonies and traditional clothing, and was enforced by Indian Agents who controlled everything in Indigenous communities. “The government and its supporters saw the ceremony as anti-christian, reckless and wasteful of personal property” (Gadacz). Ceremony items, goods and traditional clothing were confiscated, and charges were laid on Indigenous people who participated. By 1951, traditional identities, languages, and cultural social relations had been disrupted, but this did not destroy Indigenous cultures and traditions as several communities throughout canada still celebrate and practice ceremonies and cultural traditions today.
On January 4, 2021, in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory, a young Indigenous girl named Isabella Kulak from Cote First Nations went to her school, Kamsack Comprehensive Institute wearing her Ribbon Skirt because that day students were asked to wear formal clothing. Isabella was proud of her colorful Ribbon Skirt that was made by her auntie. The young girl was surprised that the educational assistant in the school compared her clothing to another girl, and made negative comments regarding her mismatched skirt and shirt by saying they were not acceptable for a “formal day” (Brace). Isabella was being shamed for wearing a Ribbon Skirt. News broke out about the discrimination this young Indigenous girl had encountered at school from a staff member. The school division confirmed Isabella’s experience and people from across Turtle Island and “as far as Germany and Puerto Rico started to show photos and videos of themselves wearing their own Ribbon Skirts or shirts to show support” (Brace). The news of this discrimination spread throughout media outlets and support came in from all over the world. Since then, Isabella was made an “honorary member of Saskatchewan's Indigenous women's advisory committee to the RCMP and was praised by Prime Minister of canada” (Silverthorn) and a Bill was passed by Senate Chambers on Parliament Hill in Ottawa marking January 4 as National Ribbon Skirt Day.
An Act respecting a National Ribbon Skirt Day
Whereas Indigenous women are life-givers and are entrusted with traditional knowledge to care for their families, their communities and the environment;
Whereas the ribbon skirt is a centuries-old spiritual symbol of womanhood, identity, adaptation and survival and is a way for women to honour themselves and their culture;
Whereas the ribbon skirt represents a direct connection to Mother Earth and its
Whereas Indigenous culture, tradition and ceremony, including Indigenous ties to language and the land, are critical to the vitality and well-being of Canada’s First Peoples;
Whereas section 1 of Article 15 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which Canada is a signatory, states, “Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information”;
Whereas Call for Justice 2.1 of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls calls “upon all governments to acknowledge, recognize, and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their cultures and languages as inherent rights, and constitutionally protected as such under section 35 of the Constitution [Act, 1982]”;
And whereas Call for Justice 15.2 of that report calls on Canadians to “[d]ecolonize by learning the true history of Canada … and learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity”
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