Hundreds march to end gender-based violence on Moose Hide Campaign Day

Hundreds march to end gender-based violence on Moose Hide Campaign Day

Hundreds marched along Bellville Street to the B.C. Legislature Thursday, calling for an end to gender-based violence, particularly those who are Indigenous.

It’s part of Moose Hide Campaign Day, an indigenous initiative that started 11 years ago.

“My dad and my sister actually founded the Moose Hide Campaign, along the highway of tears,” says Sage Lacerte, a national ambassador of the campaign. “They hunted a moose and wanted to do something about this rate of violence against women and children and so they cut up the hide of the moose and gifted it to everyone as a piece of land medicine and said if you wear this, you choose not to be violent towards women and children in your life.”

Since then, ambassadors say they have handed out four million moose-hide pins.

“Each pin starts five conversations and we’ve handed out four million, so that’s 20 million conversations that are starting across the nation, starting with self. Each person that puts that pin on deepens that commitment to ending violence,” says Dominic Paul.

Following the march, under the knowledge totem at the legislature, participants watched traditional ceremonies, and heard personal stories and messages of resilience, which was followed by a performance from the Butterflies In Spirit dance group. The group is made up of survivors and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Premier David Eby also spoke, saying, “I want to join everyone here today as a man and making my commitment personally to do the work to end gender-based violence and racism, and also to join with all the boys and men here that are making that commitment.”

At the Victoria Convention Centre, people were also invited to participate in workshops surrounding Indigenous teachings and sharing circles. At the end of the day, a berries ceremony was held to break the fast. Fasting is done to demonstrate a personal commitment to honouring and protecting women in children.

The event was live-streamed to hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the nation.

For more information, or to get involved you can visit the Moose Hide Campaign website.

If you are experiencing gender-based violence, visit here.

Hannah LepineHannah Lepine

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