ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is joining Indigenous organizations across Turtle Island in celebration of the 2022 Moose Hide Campaign.
“As a First Nation man, father and leader, I am committed to honouring, respecting, and protecting all women and children in my life,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “By coming together and supporting the Moose Hide Campaign, we can all bring awareness to gender-based violence and guide healing and strength in our communities.”
The Moose Hide Campaign was founded by Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven in 2011 when they were hunting together on their traditional land close to the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia. That particular highway is where many Indigenous women and girls have gone missing and murdered. Paul and Raven had a successful hunt and decided to use the hide of the animal to create the very first moose hide pins.
Since then, the campaign has grown into a recognized nationwide anti-violence movement, with thousands of participating communities, schools, and organizations. More than two million moose hide pins have now been distributed in Canada and across North America. The pins are gifted as both a symbol and as First Nation medicine to bring awareness to this issue that impacts all Canadians.
“Today and every day, it’s about us collaboratively taking responsible action,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “We must challenge colonial behaviours that lead to violence in our homes and communities, and we have to work to develop a culture that is nurturing, safe and supportive.”
The leadership of Southern Chiefs’ Organization recognizes that all First Nation women, girls, and gender-diverse people as sacred. Traditionally they are valued in our communities and society, yet today due to colonization, racism, and gender discrimination, First Nation women, girls, and gender-diverse people disproportionately face tragic and life-threatening, gender-based violence.
SCO is proud to be a founding partner of the MMIWG Manitoba Coalition, and as a signatory SCO was a Party with Standing at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. SCO wants this tragedy to end, and we all have a role to play.
The Moose Hide Campaign is rooted in and guided by Indigenous cultural teachings. It suggests other ways of thinking about masculinity, gender roles, and relationships – as well as a path to healing. Those who participate are taking direct action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“Ultimately we have to do what we need to end violence toward women and children and gender-diverse people,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I call on our men and boys everywhere to embrace our teachings in keeping women safe. By doing this, we are keeping with our traditions and creating a foundation of safety for everyone.”
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 81,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the Spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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