Don't burn your Nikes, donate them to First Nations youth, former MKO leader says

Don't burn your Nikes, donate them to First Nations youth, former MKO leader says

A backlash against Nike has spurred shoe donations for youth in need.

Some Americans have decided to burn their Nike products in response to the company’s collaboration with Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pre-game ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice in America.

On social media, Sheila North, former Grand Chief of Manitoba Keetwatinowi Okimakanak, asked people to donate their Nike shoes instead. 

“Anyone who suddenly hates their Nikes can mail them to: Ininew Youth c/o Shamattawa First Nation,” she tweeted.

This soon turned into real donations.

North said she got the idea from a friend in Ontario, who made a similar plea for shoes for youth in Attawapiskat First Nation.

She said she wanted to help the youth of Shamattawa First Nation, who love sports but don’t have access to the equipment they need.

“There’s a lot of beautiful things about Shamattawa, a lot of the language is still spoken up there, so lots of beautiful things, but at the same time, a lot of challenges around poverty,” she said during an interview with Up to Speed host Ismaila Alfa.

So far, she said the response has been overwhelming.

“I think that when you give the opportunity to Canada, to Canadians, and just to people in general, they do step up, because we care about each other,” she said.

She said she hasn’t even been able to keep track of just how many shoes she’s received, but that she estimates they’re worth thousands of dollars.

She’s also been contacted by international youth organizations who have offered to donate, including Right to Play, a global organization that aims to improve the lives of underprivileged children through sports and games.

To North, the outpouring of offers is evidence that people do care what happens to Canadian youth.

With files from Up to Speed 

Published at Mon, 10 Sep 2018 18:50:49 -0400