Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation
If you’ve noticed a purple ribbon flying across the Métis Motherland, then you’ve been touched by the Grandmother Ribbon campaign. We know that this past year certainly has been an unprecedented time for our families and communities. Isolation can be hard and the uncertainty of when we’ll be together again can be incredibly overwhelming.
To help mitigate some of these feelings and to spread a message of hope, light and joy among each other, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation launched the Grandmother Ribbon Campaign this past September, but the ribbons have proudly flown into the new year thanks to incredible support both in Canada and around the world, where some of our ribbons have reached Métis families as far away as Australia.
Each Grandmother Ribbon is nearly four feet long and a deep, rich purple. The healing colour of our Métis grandmothers, purple combines the stability of blue and the fiery passion of red to create a colour that represents spirituality, justice, tradition and ceremony. Purple also calms and stimulates the body, and so this ribbon reminds that we may heal and self-reflect together.
Through the vision and insight of Brenda White, our Métis sister from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, these ribbons – especially when hung in a window, on a tree and shared online – remind us all that there is light at the end of this pandemic and though we may be apart, we can still find ways to be together.
We’ve also been hard at work creating other COVID-19 responses and materials. Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO) created a jingle for Métis children, called “Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands” as part of our work and advocacy in Métis early learning and child care during the pandemic. LFMO also launched a graduation initiative last spring to recognize, celebrate and honour Métis high school graduates whose ceremonies had been cancelled because of the pandemic.
Written by Tamsin Fitzgerald (She/Her)