Local Artist Says Pink Shirt Day is Meant to Bring out the Best in all of us

Local Artist Says Pink Shirt Day is Meant to Bring out the Best in all of us

February 23, 2021

By Jordan Cryderman

For this year’s Pink Shirt Day, Carrier Sekani Family Services wanted to do something special, and so we turned to local artist, Clayton Gauthier, for his art and insight to create a truly unique design.

Pink Shirt Day is a symbolic day to stand up against bullying. When coming up with the design, Clayton said he had one word in mind that was the complete opposite of bullying: love.

“When I got asked to help out with a design, I was looking at the struggles people deal with and bullying. Not only within work, but outside of work, even in the schools, it’s everywhere. I was looking at the opposite of bullying. What’s the other side of it? It’s love.”

Clayton’s challenge was then to symbolize love in his design.

Clayton’s piece has a number of meanings behind it. Upon first glance, you will see a woman extending her arm with her heart flowing from her hand. This image of a woman displaying her heart represents the CSFS motto for this year’s Pink Shirt Day: “Share Your Heart.” 

It was important to Clayton to use the image of a woman for his design, not only to symbolize the matriarchal aspect of Indigenous culture, but to show the love that all of us should carry in our lives.

“Women hold the power of bringing life to this Earth, and bringing spirits here. Without women, we wouldn’t be here. Women hold a powerful gift in this world. All of our teaching and ceremonies, our clan system and ways, are all based on women.”

Upon a closer looking, one can also see a raven within the woman, and an eagle inside the heart.

“Within the woman is a raven. The raven is a teacher, a teacher of many things. Inside the heart is the eagle, and the eagle brings love. When an eagle finds a mate, they mate for life. They don’t ever find another mate again, even when one of them dies, they die with their love. They also bring new beginnings. We have the power to overcome anything in our life with our love.

For Clayton, Pink Shirt Day is a day to love one another, regardless of one’s background or culture.

“We have a lot to learn of life, and love is one of them. How do we love each other for what we are? Not looking at race, not looking at colour, not looking at gender. Just being who we are and loving one another.”

Sharing your heart and loving one another is Clayton’s message for Pink Shirt Day, but it also extends beyond loving people.

“Think of the world. We’re in one big relationship here with Mother Earth, with all the animals, with the air we breathe, with the land we walk on, with the people we come across. We need to walk with love, and be grateful for all that we have and overcome.”

Clayton Gauthier’s design not only symbolizes the true nature of Pink Shirt Day, which of course is anti-bullying, but also the Indigenous spirit of love and sharing one’s heart. So, for this year’s Pink Shirt Day, share your heart, and let love overcome bullying.


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Last modified: Friday 12-Jun-20 15:43:45 PDT