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