Moose Hide campaign gears up for national day of action

 [[{“value”:”The Moose Hide campaign is about raising awareness of intimate partner and domestic violence.
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Every 48 hours, a woman or girl is killed in Canada. This chilling statistic, from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, underscores the urgent need for movements like the Moose Hide Campaign.

The impactful Moose Hide Campaign is ramping up for its annual National Day of Action, happening next week. This powerful grassroots movement, started by Paul Lacerte and Raven Lacerte, calls on all Canadians to wear a moose hide pin as a visible pledge to end violence against women and children.

The campaign began in 2011, driven by Lacerte’s desire to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Since then, it has transcended its origins, uniting Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across the country in a shared commitment to creating safer spaces for everyone. Raven Lacerte, the founder of the Moose Hide Campaign, shared her personal dedication to the cause. 

“There’s violence happening that continues every single day in this country. Women and children are unsafe, and we can’t take our foot off the gas pedal. We have to keep going and inviting Canadians into this space. My dad wanted to do this work for my sisters and me, and now that I’m a mom myself, I understand that on such a deep level. I’m willing to do anything for my girls to live a life free of violence,” Lacerte said.

A growing movement: Moose Hide campaign distributed their six millionth pin!

The iconic moose hide pin has become a symbol of solidarity and action. With over six million pins distributed, the campaign has sparked countless conversations about gender-based violence. According to Statistics Canada, a large majority (79 per cent) of those reporting intimate partner violence to police are women. Sixty-seven per cent of people who experience family violence are women and girls.

This year’s National Day of Action promises to be a significant one. Organizers are expecting widespread participation, with events planned in communities large and small. Schools, workplaces, and government institutions are all encouraged to wear moose hide pins and hold awareness-raising activities. 

Voices from the community

Ben Castro, a substance use counsellor at Watari Counselling & Support Services, Vancouver, emphasizes the urgency of the issue and the support he has received from his workplace. 

“There weren’t many other events popping up locally when I started planning this (local event). Given how big of an issue this is, I decided not to wait and that it’s my time to step up. I’ve known about the issue of gender-based violence from a young age and continued to learn about it in many ways over the years. For me, it’s about time all that theory and lived experience gets translated into action,” said Castro. 

Tragically, at least 850 women and girls in Canada were violently killed between 2018 and 2022, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability’s annual report.

The National Union of Employees (NEU) in Iqaluit is actively participating, recognizing the issue’s importance for its members. 

“Our union is working hard to get Family Abuse Leave in all our Collective Agreements,” said NEU president Jason Rochon. 

The union is setting up information tables and encouraging its members to wear moose hide pins on the National Day of Action. 

“We want to see awareness, and that men and everyone recommit to living healthy lives and treating women with respect, kindness, and fairness. We must set a high standard and remember that children are watching us,” he added.

What should men care?

“Men are statistically more likely to do violence to an intimate partner or domestic or gender-based kind of violence,” explained David, CEO of the Moose Hide Campaign. 

The proportion of women killed by a spouse or intimate partner is over eight times greater than the proportion of men.

“It’s crucial for men to understand the roots of violence and take accountability. We need to create a culture where men hold each other accountable and foster environments of respect and safety,” said David.

What can men do?
Men play a crucial role in the Moose Hide Campaign. They are encouraged to take a stand against violence by wearing the moose hide pin, participating in workshops and events, and speaking out against violence in their communities.

Indigenous wisdom leading the way

Selby Harris, a Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin worker at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre, sees the campaign as a “warrior for love.” He said “(his) role as the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin Worker (I Am a Kind Man in Ojibway) is to role model the Seven Grandfather teachings and to show that violence is and never will be accepted.” 

Raven Lacerte, co-founder of the Moose Hide Campaign, emphasizes that the work is far from over. 

“We can’t stop until the violence stops,” she said. 

Her vision for the future includes reaching 10 million pins distributed and mobilizing a million Canadians for a national day of action.

What you can do

The Moose Hide Campaign offers numerous ways to get involved:

Wear a moose hide pin: Order one for free from the campaign website.

Participate in Moose Hide Campaign Day: Attend an event, fast for the day, or participate in online workshops.

Talk to the men and boys in your life: Start conversations about healthy masculinity and ending violence.

Educate yourself: Take the campaign’s online learning course, “We Are Medicine.”

Support organizations working to end gender-based violence: Donate or volunteer your time.

For more information and resources, visit the Moose Hide Campaign website: https://moosehidecampaign.ca/

A message for all people

Violence against women and children is a pervasive issue that affects all communities. By participating in the Moose Hide Campaign, you are contributing to a positive change, promoting awareness and education, and standing in solidarity with survivors and advocates. The campaign isn’t about shame or blame, Castro emphasizes, but about responsibility. 

“Those are all traditionally masculine qualities that I enjoy embracing and see in men all the time. The work is then to do that for the goal of all-gendered liberation.”

While the statistics on gender-based violence are alarming, it’s crucial to remember that domestic violence is 100 per cent preventable. The Moose Hide Campaign‘s National Day of Action May 16, is more than a single day event; it’s a movement calling on everyone to actively participate in creating a society where all genders are safe and respected. 

Join the movement and wear your moose hide pin with pride and start a courageous conversation about gender-based violence at your dinner table today.

The post Moose Hide campaign gears up for national day of action appeared first on rabble.ca.

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