PROFILE — This teen was bullied. She turned her pain into award-winning art

CBC Kids News • Published 2021-04-07 16:25

Teen hopes art will help other kids

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Memekew Apetawakeesic-Morriseau


North Caribou Lake First Nation, Ontario



Claim to fame

Earlier this year, Memekew Apetawakeesic-Morriseau heard that a local organization was holding a contest.

As part of their Red Alert! Bullying Hurts! campaign, Tikinagan Child and Family Services in Sioux Lookout in northwestern Ontario was looking for artwork that spoke to the impact that bullying can have on kids.

Although Memekew has a knack for drawing, she was reluctant to submit something.

“I guess I just didn't want to be noticed.”

The teen was bullied when she was younger, which had an impact on her self-esteem and comfort level with the spotlight.

But her parents encouraged her to give it a shot.

Memekew Apetawakeesic-Morriseau’s artwork was inspired by her experiences being bullied. (Image credit: Tikinagan Child & Family Services/Provided)

She decided to create a piece of art that portrays a young girl surrounded by tall, menacing figures calling her names like “loser” and “crybaby.”

After submitting it, Memekew found out that her artwork was selected from 130 entries as the winner of the contest.

“I was really proud of myself because it was my biggest achievement so far,” she said, “and I'm also scared because of the spotlight.”

James Benson, a prevention co-ordinator with Tikinagan, said he's received great community feedback about Memekew's artwork.

“Everybody is pretty impressed with her, with her artwork,” he said. “People are asking if T-shirts are going to be made available, or sweaters.”

According to Benson, clothing with Memekew’s artwork will be coming soon.

With files from CBC News

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