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Miss World Canada's hidden talent? Sewing ribbon skirts

'I feel so uplifted afterward'
Miss World Canada Emma Morrison has found joy in making ribbon skirts.

CHAPLEAU — Emma Morrison feels connected to her community when she sews.

“I’ve helped sew around 40 ribbon skirts over the last year,” she says. “Whenever I have the time within my travels, I like to sit down and meditate at my sewing machine.”

For the last year, Morrison has been travelling as Miss World Canada, and during her reign, she’s worked with many organizations to promote positivity. 

“There has been a lot of community involvement work,” she says.

Her year has included a ribbon skirt-making workshop in her home community of Chapleau Cree First Nation.

“The goal for 2024 is to host more workshops or to create more ribbon skirts,” Morrison says. “I have a few weeks open and I’m torn whether I should book it with someone or should I stay home and sew, and I’m leaning toward the sewing part.”

There is a peaceful feeling that comes from her time at her sewing machine.

“I’m able to really focus on what’s in front of me,” she says. “When you make ribbon skirts, you have to put so much positive energy and positive vibes into it, so after I’m done pouring so much energy into a ribbon skirt, I feel so uplifted afterward.”

She has also made ribbon skirts for children in foster care, seeing it as a chance to give them a piece of their culture.

She’s seen firsthand how the skirts she’s made hold up with her five foster siblings.

“I plan on making more for them because I’ll say they’re not gently washed,” she says. “But they’re durable. They’re still hanging in there, but they’re due some more because they grow like weeds!”

Morrison has completed 60 Beauty With a Purpose projects since she began her reign. This year, she’s looking forward to continuing the community outreach work and preparing for her journey to the Miss World competition in 2025.

“This is exactly what I wanted to do,” she says. “You have to be in communities, you have to get your hands dirty, and you have to provide change and hope wherever you go.”

Beauty With a Purpose projects can include fundraising, community visits, and other charity and community work.

The projects took her all over the country, travelling to the East Coast, Alberta, and Manitoba. During a trip to Medicine Hat, Alta., she connected with 7,000 students at 11 schools in a week,

“I felt so welcomed,” she says. “It was like a home away from home feeling.”

Over the next year, she’s looking forward to continuing her work with organizations supporting Indigenous youth and finding more time to sew.

“That’s the mood for 2024,” she says. “Just to focus on what’s in front of you, and I want to make more ribbon skirts because of that.”


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Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

About the Author: Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

Amanda Rabski-McColl is a Diversity Reporter under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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