(letters teaser)

Celebrate the fifth annual Moose Hide Campaign

To the Editor;

Last year, we hosted an online colouring contest and treasure hunt for the North Thompson Valley. We had great participation and were able to give out approximately $1,400 in cash and prizes.

We are so very excited to announce that there will be a Moose Hide Campaign event this year at the Dutch Lake Community Centre on Thursday May 12.

The Cultural Centre and all our volunteers are so overwhelmed by the generosity of our beautiful community. Without everyone’s support, these free community events would not happen.

TNRD Director Carol Schaffer who has supported the MHC for many years; BC Metis Federation for always supporting the MHC and our community; Yellowhead Community Services for supporting the MHC and all Indigenous community events; Kerry Milner-Cairns, manager of the DLCC, for always supporting the MHC and all Indigenous community events; our new community partners Banister and Trans Mountain; and our very dedicated volunteers.

The Aboriginal Cultural Centre, along with our community partners, has hosted a local Clearwater Moose Hide Campaign for the past four years. This year, our fifth annual MHC will be so exciting to have the local event in person again. The momentum over the past four years has gained awareness within the community and started many great conversations. We are committed to continue with this awareness all year long.

If you would like any information at all or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at ntaboriginal.ccs@gmail.com or message us on our Facebook page North Thompson Aboriginal Cultural Centre Society (the one with the Red logo) or the Clearwater BC Moose Hide Campaign Facebook page.

The doors will open at 4 p.m., with some very beautiful and amazing door prizes, and at 5 p.m., the welcome greeting, information and speeches will begin, with dinner afterwards. Follow the Times for more info.

There is limited seating for the dinner and you must pre-register no later than Monday, May 9. To reserve your seat you can contact Cindy Wilgosh at cindy.wilgosh@gmail.com and (250) 674-8380, or Mel Romeo at melromeo@telus.net and (250) 674-8009.

To all the men and boys in the North Thompson Valley, I would like to Challenge you to participate in the in the MHC, to pledge to take a stand against violence towards women and children. The provincial MHC will be live streaming at 8:30 a.m., please go to their website (moosehidecampaign.ca) and register for some of the many workshops and the day’s events.

Why are we, as Indigenous women, so passionate about supporting the MHC locally? Because Indigenous women are three times more likely to experience domestic violence than non-Indigenous women, and three times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be killed by someone they know. Too many of our wives, daughters, sisters, aunties, mothers and grandmothers are not safe in their own home.

Too many have been murdered or are missing. It is time for us to change this. This cycle of violence came from residential schools, racism against our Peoples and colonization. It was never in our culture to enact violence against the women and children in our families and communities, it was always our responsibility to protect them.

Many efforts, projects and strategies are now underway throughout the country to change this reality, but we can and need to do more. Silence is not good enough, and simply being a non-abuser is not good enough. We must speak up and take action, and we need to support each other as Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys.

Please help to keep these conversations going all year long.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the past four years of the annual Clearwater Moose Hide Campaign. Keep up the conversation, as we look forward to our fifth annual gathering on May 12.

Yours in Community Spirit, Cindy Wilgosh and the local Clearwater Moose Hide Campaign Team