Last December, 10 year old Bella Kulak proudly wore her beautiful ribbon skirt to her school's formal day. An educational assistant took Bella aside and told her that perhaps she should get a dress more like her (white) classmates. She was devastated.
Bella (Isabella) is from the Cote First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, but lives and goes to school in nearby Kamsack. She was proud of her ribbon skirt which was made for her by her aunt. Ribbon skirts are a symbol of strength, power and womanhood in many First Nations across North America, and for some a symbol of surviving attempted cultural genocide, and often worn for special occasions and ceremonies.