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Community unites to spread awareness about Moose Hide Campaign

Community members from Fort St. James and the surrounding areas united to raise awareness about violence against women through the Moose Hide Campaign on May 16.

The awareness event was organised by Nak’azdli Health Centre, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Nak’azdli Youth Centre, and Fort St. James District. Attendees gathered at Kwah Hall around noon before embarking on a walk to Spirit Square.

The Moose Hide Campaign originated as a grassroots movement led by Indigenous people in B.C., aiming to involve men and boys in ending violence against women and children.

It has evolved into a nationwide initiative, encompassing Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians from various local communities, First Nations, governments, educational institutions, law enforcement agencies, and numerous other organisations—all dedicated to combating this violence.

According to statistics from the Moose Hide Campaign, B.C. sees over 60,000 instances of physical or sexual assaults against women annually—equating to more than 1,000 incidents per week. Additionally, one in three women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime (Statistics Canada, 2006).

The origin of the campaign dates back to 2011 with co-founders Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven contemplating the issue of several dozens of Indigenous women reported missing or murdered along the Highway of Tears (Hwy 16) in northern British Columbia since 1970.

Moved by this tragedy and loss of life, Lacerte and Raven harvested a moose to provide sustenance for their family during the winter and decided to utilise its hide to craft the inaugural moose hide pins.

Since then, these pins have become symbolic representations of a pledge to honour, respect, and safeguard women and children, alongside efforts to eradicate gender-based violence and pursue reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.