Moose Hide Campaign Day was recognized across Canada and here in Kimberley at the Platzl, where a huge crowd gathered to raise awareness for this Indigenous-led movement seeking to end violence against women and children.
“This is us not being silent anymore and making noise and saying we’re not doing this anymore,” said Sam McCurdie, who helped organize the Kimberley event.
A large crowd gathered to listen to traditional Ktunaxa drumming, hear some stories and poetry and learn about alternative ways of understanding and dealing with feelings of anger.
Dozens of Kimberley students came to the event as well, so there was a strong youth presence.
“I’ve found just going to different functions and gatherings that sometimes there’s not really much of a turnout but today, it was amazing to see. Especially that many youth,” said Chris Johnson, another of the event’s organizers.
“That’s something that’s passed on to them and something’s that’s going to be recognized in the years to come. It all starts with them, they’re the next generation, so it’s a good start. It was a good turnout, it was awesome, beautiful.”
The campaign began to take shape in 2011 when co-founder Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven were hunting together in their traditional territory near the Highway of Tears in northern B.C., from where many women, many of whom are Indigenous, have gone missing or been murdered.
They took down a moose and after using the meat to feed their family, decided to use its hide as a symbol of awareness and change.
“We wear moose hide as a symbol and it’s a conversation starter,” McCurdie said. “It is in the darkness that those issues thrive so we’re getting them out in the light and talking about it and hopefully we raised some awareness today and at least created a safe space for young men and young girls, anyone here, to be able to speak.”
To learn more about Moose Hide Campaign or get involved, visit www.moosehidecampaign.ca