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Splatsin lends support for Indigenous anti-violence movement in Enderby

Annual Moose Hide Campaign to stop violence against women, children features walk

Any chance she gets to try and help stop violence against women and children, Jade Lawrence will pitch in.

The former stopping violence counsellor for the Vernon Transition House – now known as the Archway Society for Domestic Peace – was among a dozen people who created posters and marched in support of the national Moose Hide Campaign in Enderby Friday, May 17 (the national campaign was held Thursday, May 16).

Supporters walked carrying or wearing posters from the Splatsin Community Centre to the Enderby Chamber of Commerce and back on a windy Friday afternoon.

The Moose Hide Campaign is an annual Indigenous-led movement that recognizes that all forms of violence are unacceptable, regardless of gender. The campaign recognizes the disproportionate number of women who are victims and the importance of engaging men and boys in addressing this issue.

“We need to tighten the laws against domestic violence,” said Lawrence, who lives in Enderby. “A stronger message has to be put out that says this has to stop. It’s just getting worse.”

The campaign website says more than 60,000 physical or sexual assaults against women in B.C. – more than 1,000 per week – happen every year.

Statistics Canada figures show one in three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

A decade ago, in 2014, there was a daily average of 7,969 women and children staying in shelters Canada-wide because things were not safe at home (Stats Canada).

And between 1980 and 2012, there were 1,181 cases of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada, according to the RCMP, but there are grassroots organizations that believe the number is closer to 4,000.

British Columbia recorded more missing and murdered Indigenous women than any other province.

“The Moose Hide Campaign is about providing awareness to community members, especially young families and young people, involved in relationships about prevention of abuses that may occur in their lifetime,” said Jean Brown, traditional wellness Elder with Splatsin, who organized Friday’s event at the community centre.

Laura Jameson ventured in to the event from Kingfisher because violence against women and girls has been prevalent in society for far too long.

“We need to start with the way we socialize boys and girls,” she said. “And ensure that we act always to stop violence and protect everybody.”

Murray MacDonald, also from Kingfisher, felt it was important to participate because power that some men have been handed down to them in their lifetime is unearned.

“It seems to allow some men to use that power against people in their own family, women and girls,” said MacDonald. “I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Each participant in Friday’s walk was given either a vinyl or leather pin to wear, which signifies a commitment to honour, respect, and protect women and children in their life. As well as to work together to end violence against women and children, and all of those along the gender continuum (Moose Hide Campaign).

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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