Premier John Horgan presented the one millionth moose hide patch Thursday to organizers of a campaign calling for men to take responsibility to stop violence against women and children.
Rawhide patches, fasting and marches are a movement organized by Paul Lacerte, executive director of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and his daughter Raven. The seventh annual march to the B.C. legislature attracted hundreds of participants, with similar events held in Alberta and the Northwest Territories communities as well.
“It’s people like Paul and Raven standing up as symbols, as role models for all of us,” Horgan said. “I’m so very proud of that and I’m grateful that the government is able to find the resources to continue this work for the next four years.”
Horgan presented the one millionth pin to Lorelei Williams, founder of the Butterflies in Spirit dance group that commemorates missing and murdered Indigenous women. Group members spoke about relatives who have suffered violence and men lined the legislature steps to symbolize their commitment to keep women and girls safe.
The Moose Hide Campaign focuses mainly on Indigenous women and girls, who are three times more likely to report having been a victim of violent crime. The campaign is open to everyone, and organizers cite a study showing that one in four women attending college or university in Canada will be sexually assaulted by the time she graduates.