Peer volunteer sews ribbon skirts for overdose awareness

August 23, 2022

Sewing the symbolic ribbon skirts for Indigenous volunteers at this year's International Overdose Awareness Day events in Kelowna


Kori Smith is the mother of two young children, and expecting her third. Born in Portage la Prairie, Man., treaty to Long Plain First Nation, she is of Ojibwe and Cree ancestry. She now lives in Kelowna.

As a member of KANDU (Knowledging All Nations and Developing Unity) and a peer advisor for Interior Health’s mental health and substance use network, Kori understands the importance of International Overdose Awareness Day.

“August 31 is an important day for me because I have family who have overdosed in the past. One who has since passed away and the other who is still addicted to drugs,” says Kori. “It is a great way to spread awareness and be there for the ones we care about and love and to remind them that they are not forgotten.” 

With support from the mental health and substance use network, Kori and her sister have sewn 10 purple ribbon skirts for Indigenous peer volunteers to wear for the Kelowna International Overdose Awareness Day events.

“I recently started ribbon skirt making by learning from my koko (grandma) Lorraine Daniels. She is a residential school survivor and is also the executive director of the National Residential School of Canada in Portage la Prairie, Man.,” explains Kori.

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