This year’s Step Up campaign is seeking to amplify the voices of
The 12th annual campaign from Dilico Anishinabek Family Care raises
awareness about the ways community members can help keep children
safe and strengthen families this month, which is National Child
Abuse Prevention Month.
Step Up 2021 is about coming together to build a future where
everyone can feel safe and amplify the voices of Indigenous youth,
said John Dixon, director of integrated services at Dilico.
“By doing so we are helping children grow into strong individuals who
will be capable of standing up for themselves, identifying child
abuse, and will support the health, happiness and safety of children
and youth,” said Dixon in a news release.
Indigenous youth will be expressing their views, as individuals can
show that every child matters as part of the campaign.
“The community can make youth feel safe, connected and hopeful for
the future, by being inclusive, including youth opinions, and taking
into consideration how things can effect them,” said Daanis
Pelletier, a youth participating in the campaign. “Also encouraging
youth, making them feel like they do matter and how they feel
matters, rather than shutting them down because they are younger or
not an adult.”
Laura Twance said, as an Indigenous youth, she feels people can make
youth feel more safe by ensuring an individual has a safe place to
talk, and knowing their voice will always be heard, regardless of
whether their idea is little or too big.
“People can step up to show that every child matters by spreading
more awareness about mental health, or other problems kids face
today,” said Kiefer Sabourin. “Also by talking, and having one on one
conversations to let them know that they matter.”
Dilico executive director Darcia Borg said she’s filled with belief
and hope because when she hears the voices of the youth and children,
she knows that the responsibilities that their ancestors carried are
still being carried.
“We can still hear the voices of the land and the care and love for
the children,” she said.
Community members can participate in this year’s campaign by wearing
a purple ribbon or participating in the Go Purple for Prevention Day
on Oct. 27 by sharing photos or videos of themselves wearing purple
on social media with the hashtag #StepUpTBay and tagging
Photos can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step Up 2021 also features a scavenger hunt and Dilico is hosting a
Come Together Youth gathering virtually on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9
p.m. A zoom link will be posted on Dilico’s website the day of the
To recognize the signs of child abuse, whether it’s physical,
emotional, neglect or sexual abuse, visit dilico.com.
For more information on the Step Up campaign, visit the Step Up
Thunder Bay Facebook page or dilico.com/stepup.