In a town mainly formed by colonization, views are mixed. Rainbow Days is an educational workshop created by Arctic 2017 alum, Allysa Felix.
The focus of Rainbow Days was to bring together experts on LGBTQ+ topics to educate youth and community. Allysa brought in speakers Thomas Gagnon van-Leeuwen and Chelsea Thacker from the Rainbow Coalition in Yellowkinfe, NT to lead workshops for the high school students which included explaining the terms of LGBTQI2SA and being accepting and an ally. Other workshops, held by Thomas, included his coming out story and journaling.
The younger grades were introduced to the story of Elmer the Elephant by David McKee (a wonderful story about loving yourself and being unique) and made colourful picture frames, quilts and decorated cupcakes.
The second day of the workshop included a Rainbow luncheon for the community which had a great turnout. Afterwards a movie screening of the Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things was held, a documentary about LGBTQ+ Inuit in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
The event of such topic and scope was organized in the community for the first time ever. We hope to continue the event in the future years.
This project was put together by SOI alum Allysa Felix (Arctic 2017) with the support of Krista Cudmore, Jana Kasparova, Sheryl Mangelana, Thomas Gagnon-van Leeuwen, Soomin Han, and Chelsea Thacker.
Allysa is 18 years old and from a small town of 900 people. Homework takes up most of her time, but when she’s not studying she loves to read, watch TV dramas and hockey (go Habs go!), as well as admire the nature around her. Allysa loves to travel and hopes to become a biologist and study animals. She believes that the world should accept you for you and values diversity and inclusion.