Take a stand against violence toward Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people
Canada is in the midst of an ongoing national crisis of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people. Canada has a long legacy of devaluing Indigenous peoples—in particular Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people. As a result, many people believe that they do not matter, and that it is acceptable to commit acts of violence upon them.
All levels of government in Canada fail to respond when an Indigenous woman, girl, or 2S-LGBTQIA+ person goes missing or is murdered. Police services have no standardized response time to MMIWG2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit), and there is poor communication with families.
Sadness, trauma, and fear exist in Indigenous communities. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, wives, friends, and relatives have gone missing and been murdered. Families and friends have no answers and no justice.
The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls concludes that this is a genocide. Yet the media, government, and others continue to view MMIWG2S simply as a “social justice issue” rather than a violation of human rights. The report also states that “we all have a role to play to combat violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people.”
Will we work together as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to value the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people? In response to the recent search for four Indigenous women known to have been murdered in Winnipeg, the United Church shared its belief that “everyone, created in the image of God, has a right to be treated with respect and protected from harm.” We now ask members, friends, and communities of faith to share that belief, to combat violence, and to call for justice by participating in the Moose Hide Campaign.
How can you participate? As individuals and communities of faith, you can:
- Wear and share the Moose Hide Pin. The pins are offered free of charge by the Moose Hide campaign and are available in the traditional moose hide or in a non-leather version.
- Learn more about ways to take action. Visit the Moose Hide Campaign’s website and click on the "Take Action" tab.
- Share news about the campaign and this prayer in your church.
- Post pictures of you and your Moose Hide pin on social media. Please use the hashtags #MooseHideCampaign, #MooseHideCampaignDay, #UCCan, and #MMIWG2S.
- Remember that the message of the Moose Hide Campaign goes beyond May 11. Look for other opportunities throughout the year to let Indigenous peoples and all levels of government know that Indigenous women, girls, and 2S people are valued and that we demand a drastic shift in how these cases are handled.
The Moose Hide Campaign was launched by Raven Lacerte (Lake Babine First Nation) and her father Paul Lacerte (Carrier First Nations), whose annual hunting trips took place along BC’s Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert. This highway is known as the “Highway of Tears” for the large number of Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered there.
The Lacertes decided to bring attention to this issue. In 2011 they tanned and cut up a moose hide to make pins for Indigenous men and boys to wear as a sign of their commitment to ending violence against women and girls. The campaign has since broadened, and now all people are asked to wear these pins as a sign of their commitment. May 11 is Moose Hide Campaign Day, a day when all Canadians are invited to take a stand against violence toward Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people.
Learn how the United Church has responded to the national crisis of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2S-LGBTQIA+ people.