Dress Purple Day - UPDATED OCT 27 with photos!

Posted: October 14th, 2020

Every October, Dress Purple Day helps to raise awareness about the important role that individuals and communities play in supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families.

Tikinagan Child & Family Services is calling on the 30 First Nations and the urban areas they serve in northwestern Ontario to acknowledge Dress Purple Day on October 27 to celebrate the community that cares for families and share the message that help is available and no one is alone. Everyone is encouraged to wear something purple on October 27 and use the hashtag #IDressPurpleBecause to show their support.

Thelma Morris, Executive Director of Tikinagan, says this day raises awareness that Tikinagan is a community organization and is part of the circle of care that supports the well-being of children, youth, and families.

Tikinagan shares the sacred responsibility held by parents, extended family and community members to care for children. It is important for each child to be part of a network of caring people. This effort is guided by our service model Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin, everyone working together to raise our children.”

Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin is a system of protecting and caring for children and supporting families that has been designed and is delivered by First Nations people. Every decision Tikinagan makes is to give the best possible outcome for the child and their family and with the intention of keeping them connected to their family, culture, and community.

Morris: “On a day-to-day basis, most of our child protection reports come from concerned family or community members, as well as grandparents and Elders. These are the people who are already invested and close to the child. Everyone in the community watches over all the children, especially in small community settings. That’s why everyone is working together to raise our children. These invested people are involved in the future of children. And that’s what we want: we want them to be invested and part of the child’s life.”

Morris adds the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional stresses for families, and in some cases has increased risk for the well-being and safety of vulnerable children, youth, and families.

“COVID-19 can lead to an increase in risk factors surrounding mental health, challenges in the home violence, and neglect of children and youth. Anyone in need of help are encouraged to reach out to the services available in their community, including Tikinagan. Dress Purple Day is a time when we remind everybody that help is available and that the community needs to work together to support families and look after kids."

For more information and resources, visit tikinagan.org. Anyone needing to report a child protection concern can call Tikinagan 24/7 at 1-800-465-3624.