One of the first things many residential school survivors experienced was the cutting of their hair. Today, many Indigenous People are choosing to grow their hair long as a statement of cultural pride. However, hair has a greater spiritual meaning for many Aboriginal cultures.
Boys with Braids is an educational movement dedicated to sharing the teachings of why boys, men and elders wear braids. Started by Michael Linklaster when his son was bullied for having long hair. Linklaster hopes to stop bullying by raising awareness about the spiritual and cultural significance of long hair. He also hopes that Indigenous children and youth will take more pride in their long hair.
Cecil Sveinson, host of a March 2016 Winnipeg Boys with Braids Event hopes to raise awareness among non-Indigenous Adults as well. Hoping that with raised awareness adults will be more culturally sensitive.
- “Boys with braids honoured at Winnipeg event.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 1 Apr. 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/lost-found-and-the-journey-of-self-discovery-1.3504360/boys-with-braids-honoured-at-winnipeg-event-1.3506468
- Brown, Toyacoyah . “Tuesday Teaching from Boys with Braids.” PowWows.com – Native American Pow Wows, 8 Feb. 2017, http://www.powwows.com/tuesday-teaching-boys-braids/.
- Monkman, Lenard. “Why Indigenous boys and men wear braids.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 13 June 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/why-indigenous-boys-and-men-wear-braids-1.3463817.
- News, CBC. “Long hair, don’t care: Winnipeg’s first Boys with Braids event counters bullying.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/first-boys-with-braids-1.3484898
- Sharpe, Krista. “Boys with Braids brushing away bullying in Saskatchewan.” Global News, 28 Mar. 2016, globalnews.ca/news/2599728/boys-with-braids-brushing-away-bullying-in-saskatchewan/.