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Animikii Honouring Women

February 24, 2020

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Thunderbirds at Animikii support the Moose Hide Campaign to honour women and children everywhere, and to keep our commitment to respect and protect the women and children in our lives.

The Moose Hide Campaign is a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies who stand up against violence towards women and children. Wearing the Moose Hide signifies your commitment to end this violence. Many of us wear the Moose Hide every day and attend the provincial Moose Hide event every year.

The Moose Hide campaign brings awareness to issues of violence against women and children—with a special focus on those who are Indigenous. By wearing a Moose Hide pin at your place of work, your school, or out in public, you bring these issues out of the realms of whispered conversations and into our collective culture.

The Moose Hide Campaign has spread to communities and organizations across North America. Local campaigns have started in government offices, colleges, and universities as well as on First Nations reserves, Friendship Centres, community organisations, and individual families. More than 2,200,000 squares of moose hide have been distributed. All these squares spark conversations and represent support of Indigenous women and children all across Turtle Island.

Provincial and National events “continue to ask men to take positive and concrete steps forward in standing up and speaking out against violence towards women and children. By taking part in this one day fast you are showing your love and respect for the women in your life and supporting their right for peace and safety in their homes and communities.”
- Paul Lacerte, co-Founder –Moose Hide Campaign

Last year 1,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants from traditional territories all across B.C. gathered to commit to ending violence towards Indigenous women and children. Robyn Ward, Director of People Operations, shares what she found to be the most impactful part of attending the event.

Why did you decide to attend the event?

Moose Hide Fram

This is my fifth consecutive year at the Provincial Moose Hide event. Indigenous women and children are still in harm's way and the statistics haven’t changed much. It's heartbreaking to hear that Indigenous women and Indigenous children are still mistreated daily.

I go to stand up and show support to my fellow women and mothers and to show love for innocent and precious children. No one should feel unsafe as they walk through the world.

As well, this is one way to respond as a non-Indigenous ally to the MMIWG Final Report. Take a moment to read and reflect the Calls to Justice for all Canadians:

Calls for All Canadians

As the Final Report has shown, and within every encounter, each person has a role to play in order to combat violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. Beyond those Calls aimed at governments or at specific industries or service providers, we encourage every Canadian to consider how they can give life to these Calls for Justice.

We call on all Canadians to:

15.1 Denounce and speak out against violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

15.2 Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today.

15.3 Develop knowledge and read the Final Report. Listen to the truths shared, and acknowledge the burden of these human and Indigenous rights violations, and how they impact Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people today.

15.4 Using what you have learned and some of the resources suggested, become a strong ally. Being a strong ally involves more than just tolerance; it means actively working to break down barriers and to support others in every relationship and encounter in which you participate.

15.5 Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.

15.6 Protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the value of every person and every community, as well as the right of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined solutions.

15.7 Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

15.8 Help hold all governments accountable to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles we set out. (MMIWG Final Report, 2019)

How did you contribute to the event?

I participated in a fasting ceremony, I welcomed delegates in the lower atrium of the Victoria Conference Centre, I participated in the welcoming remarks, informed delegates of the 19 amazing workshops being facilitated, and then directed the participants to the correct location for those workshops.

What part of the event did you find the most impactful?

The Pipe Ceremony in the morning really touched my heart. It was grounding and uplifting, and I will carry the experience with me forever. Bradley Dick (Songhees Nation), Rueben George (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) and Hereditary Chief Phil Lane (of the Hinhan Wicasa Oyate, Yankton Sioux Tribe and Chickasaw Nation) lead 70 participants in a meaningful and transformative Pipe Ceremony. As we all sat in a circle, the Pipe Ceremony began with each speaker talking from the heart and drawing our attention to what connects us all. It created a sacred and spiritual space of connection to each other, the land, our ancestors and our children's children.

I honestly wish more gatherings began with ceremonies grounded in the fundamentals of humanity and unity. It fills me with hope for the future.

Why do you think it’s important for Animikii to reach out in this kind of capacity?

Animikii has shared office space with the Moose Hide Campaign since 2016. We’ve been neighbours, friends and partners on many projects. As part of our Social Impact, we offer volunteer opportunities to our team to show love the Moose Hide movement and our community.

I pick Moose Hide because, as a woman and a mother, I feel responsible to hold myself accountable to confront violence against Indigenous women, girls, Trans and 2 Spirit People. I will pledge to the Moose Hide Campaign until my last breath—with humility, truth, honesty, wisdom, courage, respect and love. I will continue to promote gender equity, healthy relationships, and speak out against all gender-based violence.

Which of the 7 Grandfather teachings was most expressed at the event?

All of them—truth, honesty, humility, respect, wisdom, courage and love. I feel humility in admitting that I get so much more from the event than I give. The truth and honesty about the harm that still exists is hard on the heart. I respected all the participants that showed up with the wisdom, courage and love to commit to the comfort, protection and safety of Indigenous women and children. There were so many times throughout the day that I was filled with hope, inspiration and love. One moment, during the keynote speeches, Paul Lacerte asked everyone in the audience who felt like it’s time for this violence to stop to please stand. As everyone stood in solidarity, every one of the 1,000 participants, my eyes filled with tears.

It’s uplifting to see Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals united with meaningful dedication. In another part of the day, I joined a Lateral Kindness workshop with Victoria Pruden. Participating in the lateral kindness activity served as a strong experiential reminder of the medicine and healing potential that is rooted in kindness and love. And, the world needs a lot of love and healing right now.

Ceremony turns attention into intention. It’s my intention to do everything I can to support human rights and I’m grateful for this event every year.

I would encourage everyone to consider wearing a moose hide pin and donating to the movement, if you're able. (There is even a vegan version.) You can order a pin here. I wear mine to signify the acknowledgement of past injustices, the recognition of gendered-violence and injustice that exists today, and to commit to participating in a better future where everyone feels safe and loved. I also invite everyone to consider participating remotely in the next event online on February 11, 2021. You can register here.

Moose Hide 2021

February 24, 2020

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