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Moose Hide Campaign walk raises awareness

Even with the weather threatening to take a turn for the worse, the walk still had a lot of participants.

THUNDER BAY – Despite the clouds, the wind and threat of rain, roughly 70 people were out walking on Thursday to raise awareness for violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The Moose Hide Campaign walk, organized locally by Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Ontario Native Women’s Association, encourages men and boys to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.

“It started off as a grassroots movement - with Indigenous men really wanting to stand up against the violence facing the women in our communities. And, it's grown and expanded to include all men across Canada, nationally and internationally,” said Cora McGuire-Cyrett, CEO, Ontario Native Women's Association.

“And really, it's about communities mobilizing to address the violence and being proactive. This continues to bring awareness to the crisis that we're facing. It's about recognizing what's happening to Indigenous women and all of our communities and what can we do about it.”

She added that these walks are critical and that they need to continue until the violence stops.

“I think people need to understand there's a power behind individual movements and, you know, the power of the individual to address violence and address the crisis really shouldn't be underestimated,” she said.

“And that's really what today is about - bringing that education awareness to communities and how we all have a responsibility and an obligation to address this. It's not just an Indigenous issue, this is an everyone issue. If our community is safe to be an Indigenous woman, it's safe to be anybody.”

Even with the weather threatening to take a turn for the worse, the walk still had a lot of participants, something that Fort William First Nation Chief Michelle Solomon said was heartening to see.

“Having the community involved sends an important message as well that this is important to everybody. It doesn't matter who you are in society. Violence against women affects us all,” she said.

"And it doesn't matter what your class is or who you are. Violence against women plays a significant role in eroding the social fabric of the community.”

Those not able to attend the walk were encouraged to show support by taking the time to read some of the reports that have come out - such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into MMIWG.

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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