Katzie First Nation decorated their cars and took to the streets to show solidarity against bullying on Wednesday afternoon.
The tight-knit community held a ‘honking’ parade to show support for their youth in honour of Pink Shirt Day.
Chief Grace George said it was important for them to recognize the date.
“Many First Nations communities combat various acts of lateral violence within their communities,” she said.
“Our community prides ourselves in turning this impact to acts of lateral kindness.”
Band staff, teachers, RCMP and students at the Katzie Reserve No. 1’s temporary school all participated.
Following the parade a discussion on how to prevent bullying took part at the school, which is located in the community’s gym.
“We are grateful for awareness campaigns of this nature,” George said.
“Even though we can’t gather as we normally would, our staff have been busy trying to bring our community together in the safest way possible.”
Community engagement coordinator Natasha Cook helped organize the event.
“Last year we handed out t-shirts for Pink Shirt Day, and it was very clear our community wanted to do something more,” she said.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a bit of a damper on plans, but the band put their best foot forward with a newly established tradition.
“For our kids birthdays we started honk parades and that’s become huge, and kind of key to our Katzie culture,” Cook said. “For this parade we wanted to show our youth they have so much more support than they think they do.”
About 20 vehicles with messages like ‘Be Kind,”Love Not Hate,’ and ‘No Bully Zone,’ sent a clear message.
“We want to promote togetherness, and unity, especially during a time where we can’t gather,” Cook said.
Chief George agreed.
“As a leadership council we strive to create an environment that fosters growth, genuine happiness and acceptance,” she said.
“We should always be respectful, no matter what. That’s who we are as Katzie First Nation people.”
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