Alvena Little-Wolf Ear may be only be in Grade 4, but her family says she has had to grow up fast.
“It’s been a rough two years of kids bullying me," she told CBC news.
“I didn’t like going to school because they hurt me so much. Someone asked me if I was pregnant.” she says, her voice cracking as she starts to cry.
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Alvena's mother, Annette Little said the constant taunts about her weight and appearance started taking a toll on her daughter.
“She wasn’t telling me she wasn’t eating her lunch … I was trying to encourage her to have breakfast but she wouldn’t.”
Alvena began seeing a therapist and soon after, started opening up to her mother about what she had been experiencing in school.
Last week she decided she wanted to take a stand and share her story online.
“She said 'Can you take a picture of me? I want to share my story with everyone so I can help bullies realize what they do.' says her mother. "I want to get healthy and lose weight so I can show the bullies that we can change and we can be healthy.”
They posted the photo to a Facebook group called Healthy Active Natives and now Alvina is getting thousands of likes and hundreds of messages of support from around North America.
"She reminds me everyday, we gotta go for a walk mom.' says Little. "We gotta do something today, mom because she wants to continue because all of these people are encouraging her to keep going. So I think it’s a really good thing.”
Little Wolf-Ear has high hopes for new school
It's just one part of what her mother hopes is a fresh start for the Grade 4 student from the Ahousaht First Nation in B.C.
“She started a new school today because she was begging me not to go back to [the old school]. She was saying she hated it and I don’t blame her because it was always different kids that picked on her ."
But Alvena and her mother will return to her old school tomorrow. They've organized a rally to help raise awareness about bullying.
"I was bullied when I was young and it hurt but the things that have been said to Alvena are worse than the things that were ever said to me. Even when we have to talk about it, it chokes us up because that’s how hurtful the words are."Alvena and her mother have started a new Facebook group called Team Alvena.
Annette says of the encouragement she's received online has been a big motivator.
“I’ve never seen her so happy in a long time but it was really good. So that really encouraged her and helped her and made her want to continue with what she’s doing."