Correlieu Secondary School will be putting on a Shoe Memorial for 308 of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada on Thursday, Dec. 6.
The memorial is being pulled together by Carilee Drew, an English teacher at Correlieu, and a group of student volunteers.
“I think a lot of people don’t think that gender-based violence is a concern today, and I’m really trying to get across the point that it’s more of a concern now than ever,” says Drew.
She came up with the idea after seeing a similar memorial set up at the Vancouver Art Gallery a couple years ago — something she thought was “a really cool idea.”
Drew says her understanding of the memorial at the gallery was that it was almost like a work of art, something for people to stand and look at. But then she learned the CBC had compiled a database featuring profiles of 308 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, and she decided to organize her own, interactive shoe memorial.
After weeks of collecting shoes, which have been donated by students, staff, and the community at large, there will be 308 pairs of shoes set up in the gym, each accompanied by a placard with a woman’s name written on it. Using their phones, students will be able to actually search the database for each woman and read her story.
Along with the students, Drew says the community is also welcome to attend the event.
Thursday is the National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence Against Women in Canada, and part of the United Nations 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. The display is also in correlation with Correlieu’s Annual White Ribbon campaign, which asks the male students and teachers at the school to pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence toward women or girls.
The memorial will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the gym at Correlieu on Thursday, Dec. 6.