Niki MacKinlay, 15, designer of the t-shirts said the circle in the background of the logo is the medicine wheel and each quarter means something significant to her — vision and respect, movement and behaviour, knowledge and feeling, and time and relationship. (Submitted photo)

Niki MacKinlay, 15, designer of the t-shirts said the circle in the background of the logo is the medicine wheel and each quarter means something significant to her — vision and respect, movement and behaviour, knowledge and feeling, and time and relationship. (Submitted photo)

Vanderhoof teen designs Orange Shirt Day t-shirts to spread awareness

Niki MacKinlay is a grade 11 student at EBUS

A Vanderhoof teen designed a t-shirt for Orange Shirt Day to create awareness of residential schools and has also created a $100 bursary from the profits of her sales, to help other fellow students.

Orange Shirt Day is held Sept. 30 to open the door to conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools.

Niki MacKinlay, 15-year-old studying full-time at EBUS, said the idea for the t-shirt came about when she attended a workshop on Aboriginal art at NVSS and needed to design a logo for her English 10 EBUS course.

She loved the design and thought she would create her own orange shirts for her family.

“I had 12 made, and my family wore them. So many people liked them and asked if they could get one, so I decided to make 36 more.”

“We had about 12 of those that weren’t pre-orders, so my mom just posted on her Facebook profile that we had a few extra. They all sold that same night and I got about 50 more people asking for one for themselves, so I put in another order for just over 100 shirts,” she explained.

VIDEO: Smithers friendship centre launches canoe to mark Orange Shirt Day

As it was a last minute project, MacKinlay said she got help from Terra-lynn Culberson at Streamline Signs & Graphics, who volunteered to stay after hours to get the shirts done.

“I designed this logo to represent who I am and what I stand for. I am Wet’suwet’en and being Aboriginal is part of who I am,” she said.

MacKinlay explained the circle in the background of the logo is the medicine wheel and each quarter means something significant to her — vision and respect, movement and behaviour, knowledge and feeling, and time and relationship.

The hands forming a heart, signify love, acceptance and community to MacKinlay.

“My name, “Nikiya”, means community or home in the Wet’suwet’en language and I want to inspire others to create community. My Dad always states that it takes a village to raise a child and I agree with this mentality. If we all look out for one another, this world will be a better place.”

“I like the use of hands in my symbol, as we all can use a helping hand at one time, and it is easy to reach out your hand to help someone. Through the selling of my orange shirts, I hope my design has inspired others to educate and be part of the reconciliation process, therefore, reaching out their hand to help someone and creating a better community,” she added.

MacKinlay says art is her passion and in the future she plans to have a career in art. She really enjoys digital painting, Aboriginal inspired art and illustration cartoon.

“I really loved creating the orange shirts, and I would like to design and sell another logo for Pink Shirt Day, hopefully creating awareness for the effects of bullying,” she said.

She is also creating a $100 bursary for one EBUS student and one NVSS students, with the criteria being that a parent, grandparent or guardian attended residential school, or for someone who has taken a leadership role in Orange Shirt Day activities.

“Residential schools still affect people to this day and it wasn’t that long ago that the last residential school was shut down. My Grandma and Papa both attended residential school and it had a major impact on their lives. Although they both had different experiences, they both lost a big part of their culture,” she said.

“They are still the strongest people that I know and I have learned a lot from them. Reconciliation is an important part of the healing process and Orange Shirt Day is a part of this, as it shows we still remember what happened and we will not let it happen again.”

Aman Parhar
Publisher/Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Orange Shirt Day

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

People had a chance to interact with different animals at the petting zoo, participate in mutton busting, and buy everything local during the Fall Fair held in 2019. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
55th Fall Fair in Vanderhoof cancelled

Alternative events eyed once again

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read