by Stephen Dafoe
TELUS has released Skookum and Chums, a short animated children’s film highlighting the importance of inclusivity and anti-bullying in an era when Canadians spend more time online than ever before.
The company says the short film, posted above, is relevant for parents, youth and Canadians of all ages because it provides insight into how people can be more inclusive, embrace each other’s differences, and encourage self-empowerment.
“Cyberbullying poses one of the most pervasive threats to Canadians’ mental health. At TELUS, we are incredibly proud to partner with Indigenous creators, helping to recognize and underscore the power of kindness and inclusion by telling important stories that will help to raise awareness, start a dialogue, and ultimately, create lasting change,” said Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation Officer at TELUS in a media release Tuesday.
The 11-minute animated film by Fred Di Blasio, a member of the Huron-Wendake Nation, was produced with support from TELUS.
The Pink Shirt Day movement began in 2007 as a way for two Nova Scotia students to support a fellow student bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. The next day they invited other students to stand with them by wearing pink to show them that bullying is not okay and to show those being bullied that they are not alone.
Pink Shirt Day has grown over the past decade-plus to become a national day of awareness about the impacts of bullying. Each year, local schools and businesses take part in the initiative. This year’s theme is Lift Each Other Up.