From the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre a group of young men and boys led by Greg Stirling walked to the monument at the Riverfront Trail for missing and murdered women.
Dozens of supporters followed them on Thursday, May 12.
Before the walk began, cultural programmer Tammy Burrows said their mission for the day was to bring more awareness of the Moose Hide Campaign into the community.
The Indigenous-led grassroots movement of men, boys and all Canadians standing up to violence against women and children was founded in 2011 by Paul Lacerte and his daughter, Raven, who were hunting together near the notorious Highway of Tears.
Many women, mostly Indigenous, have disappeared or been murdered on the 725-kilometre stretch of highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
“We need as much awareness as we can get,” Nazko First Nation Chief Leah Stump said inside before drumming and singing the Women’s Warrior Song and Men’s Warrior Song with ?Esdilagh First Nation councillor Chad Stump.
“My son is going to be participating in this event, and I’m very proud of him,” Chad said. “It’s important to bring the awareness for our people and the City of Quesnel.”
In a joint statement, B.C. Premier John Horgan, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity Grace Lore called the Moose Hide Campaign Day a time for everyone to stand together.
Stirling said you have to have respect for yourself before you can have respect for others, and encouraged everyone to learn from their elders.
“Let’s not forget the ones who suffer, and let’s not forget those who have gone through lots of violence—we don’t ever want to have that,” he added.
“We want to be kind, we want to be helpful, and most of all, we want to be respectful, so to the youth of this community, I hope that you hold that in your heart; to have respect for everybody and most of all respect for yourself.”
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