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Calgarians join in campaign to end gender-based violence

Moose Hide Campaign events are being held across Canada on Thursday. (Supplied: Moose Hide Campaign) Moose Hide Campaign events are being held across Canada on Thursday. (Supplied: Moose Hide Campaign)

Calgarians are hosting Moose Hide Campaign events on Thursday to end gender-based violence, in solidarity with other Canadians.

Those behind the annual campaign believe “all forms of violence are unacceptable, regardless of gender,” states the campaign website.

“We also know that shame and blame isn’t the answer.”

Calgary community champions, including the Local 87 Métis Nation of Alberta, TELUS Sky and St. Francis High School encourage everyone to get involved.

“In light of the troubling increase in domestic violence during the pandemic, the importance of spreading this crucial message has never been more urgent,” the details for one of the Calgary events read.

“Together, we are part of a nationwide movement dedicated to taking swift action to combat violence.”

$2M in provincial funding

Government of Alberta research has revealed that two in three women, and one in three men, have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.

“Thank you to the survivors, Indigenous women, experts and those on the ground who are supporting survivors and making their voices heard,” said Tanya Fir, minister of arts, culture and status of women, in a Tuesday news release.

For the first time, the provincial government is providing $2,000,000 in funding specifically for gender-based violence prevention.

“As we develop our 10-year strategy to end gender-based violence, we have heard loud and clear, we must invest in prevention programming so we can stop the violence before it begins,” said Fir.

The funding will support 11 organizations including the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, BGC Foothills Clubs, Camrose Women’s Shelter Society, Centre for Sexuality, FearIsNotLove, Radiance Family, Riseup Society Alberta, Safe Horizon, Saffron Centre, the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation and YWCA Banff.

Showing support

Aside from joining an event and watching the livestream, members of the public can also wear moose hide pins.

“Many Canadians don’t know how to take the first step towards ending this kind of violence, and towards healing and reconciliation,” said Dominic Paul, the campaign’s national ambassador who is also responsible for overseeing the pin production.

“The small, humble piece of moose hide is a concrete way to spark conversations and build personal and collective commitment and capacity to address this critical issue.”

Several years ago, while on a moose hunt along the Highway of Tears in B.C., Raven and Paul Lacerte were inspired to start the campaign.

“There were 1,181 cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada between 1980 and 2012, according to the RCMP, with B.C. recording more than any other province (Native Women’s Association of Canada, 2010),” states the campaign website.

“However, according to grassroots organizations, the number is much higher, closer to 4,000.”

The main campaign event is taking place in Victoria, British Columbia, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Marie Wilson, who served as one of three commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Top Stories

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