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Moose Hide Campaign brings awareness to violence

The Moose Hide Campaign is bringing awareness to the violence and abuse that women and children have faced and that many are still facing, one horse ride and moose hide pin at a time. 

Michelle Stein and her horse Skypony rode through town on May 16, with trusted friend John Pavao and his horse Preacher to bring awareness to the Moose Hide Campaign and join the fight to end gender-based violence against women and children. 

Stein said the campaign was “very near and dear to her heart,” along with using her voice and “planting the seed” to initiate much needed conversation and healing.

“My mother, an Ojibway woman, lived a life of domestic violence in her marriage, and because of being Indigenous as did her children suffer. She was given little respect,” said Stein. “I walked with someone I trust as a symbol of my walk, and the Canadian flag was carried only to remind Canada that we have work to do, in our walk toward reconciliation. And that should never be forgotten, for the safety sake of all women and children.”

Stein and Pavao started their ride at the Leamington Portuguese Club and rode down Talbot Street to Princess Street, stopping at the Caldwell First Nation to chat with Allen Deleary, Chief Administrative officer for Caldwell, before continue their ride out to the Caldwell Gas Station and lands. 

Stein says she registered her business, Spirit of Horses, in the campaign with hopes of seeing the movement — which started in BC — grow locally.

She told Deleary that one of his members had originally given her a moose hide piece and it resonated with her as her own mother lived a life of abuse. 

“I am absolutely pleased to have the opportunity in this awareness campaign that my colleagues here on the horses are doing and bringing to our nation — and respectfully — by going to our lands,” said Deleary. “That is important, Caldwell was forcibly removed from their lands in a very violent manner. So now the people are returning home, and the symbolism of this ride to our lands is a reflection of the violence experienced by our people.”

“This has become amplified across Turtle Island against women and children,” he added. 

Several ceremonies were held across the country on May 16 in support of the campaign, which is grounded in Indigenous traditions and ways of healing that included fasting from sunrise to sunset. 

The Moose Hide Campaign is a grassroots movement that started in British Columbia with Indigenous men and boys geared to ending violence towards women and children, and it has now grown nationwide. According to its website, over half a million Canadians have joined in ceremony and solidarity.

Since 2011, five-million pieces of moose hide have been handed out, and supported 25 million conversations about the need to ending the violence, they said. 

Stein is asking that people register for next year’s Moose Hide Campaign and “help make this another step onto the path of kindness, respect, empathy and compassion toward each other.”

For more information on the campaign go to moosehidecampaign.ca

This week’s
online edition

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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