The annual Moose Hide Campaign kicked off in Port Hardy on Thursday (May 12) with a march from North Island Building Blocks to the Wakas Hall located in the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations community.
The campaign is a day of ceremony where all Canadians are called to join together to take a stand against violence towards women and children and to take practical steps for the collective journey of reconciliation.
Building Blocks Lead Outreach Dustin Swain is the person who was instrumental in bringing the campaign back to Port Hardy. He worked together with Building Blocks Manager Stephanie Nelson and they planned the entire event.
“I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t lost in the wind this year, especially at the tail end of COVID,” Swain said. The campaign started at 11:00 a.m, outside at Carrot Park with cultural singers and drummers joining them.
“The campaign is originally a grassroots Indigenous movement and we really wanted to honour that,” noted Swain. “The whole message behind the event is to stand up against violence towards women and children in our communities, and we wanted to really share that messaging within our community as a whole.”
Once the march reached the Wakas Hall, there was a cultural program with speeches and dances from community members, and it was also catered by the Eke-Me-Xi Learning Centre.
Building Blocks partnered up with the Gwa’sala-‘Naxwaxda’xw Healing Centre, North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre, Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre, First Nations Health Authority, and the RCMP to hold the event.