January 16, 2019 7:57 am
Updated: January 16, 2019 1:57 pm

Winnipeg woman petitions to give Barbie a Cree makeover

WATCH: Sonya Ballantyne has started a petition to have Mattel make an Indigenous Barbie - one that has a specific nation, in this case, Cree.

A A

A local Cree woman who’s using her newfound title as one of Mattel’s female role models for 2019 is hoping to inspire a new type of Barbie.

“When they contacted me and said ‘hey we want to make you a role model’ that really blew my mind, because Barbies we’re such a big part of my childhood,” said Sonya Ballantyne.

Story continues below

“I originally thought it was going to be for a commercial because I’m a filmmaker,” Ballantyne said.

READ MORE: Barbie turns 58: Little-known facts about the iconic doll

After telling family and friends she was chosen, people began asking when a Cree Barbie would be made of her.

“When I was visiting schools, a lot of the little girls were like ‘when can we get your Barbie?’, and saying things like ‘I really want a Barbie that looks like you’.

“There were a few people contacting me saying ‘I really want a Barbie, a native Barbie that looks like her because she looks like my daughter’.”

Ballantyne started a petition in hopes of having a Cree doll made.

A Manitoba filmmaker has started a petition with a goal of encouraging Mattel to create a Cree Barbie.

Change.org

“The reason I started the petition was because I wanted to have a Native barbie that actually had a nation,” Ballantyne said.

“They’re always generically Native Barbies and I always wanted them to have one that said this is a Cree Barbie, this is a Navahoe Barbie, this one is an Ojibway…”

READ MORE: Cree app launched to help preserve indigenous language

In a statement to Global News, Mattel said “Barbie continues to honor a diverse group of role models who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls.

“We are proud to partner with Sonya and share her message. Barbie continues to evolve and currently offers the most diverse doll line on the market.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.