Moose Hide Campaign

By: The Hon. Michèle Audette

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Landscape, Yukon Territory

Hon. Michèle Audette: [Editor’s Note: Senator Audette spoke in Innu-aimun.]

I thank the wonderful Anishinaabe people for welcoming us again today.

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to you about a wonderful campaign that you’re all aware of, the Moose Hide Campaign, which is why we are proudly wearing this piece of moose hide. Last week, I gave you some statistics on violence against women, girls and Indigenous people. We represent only 5% of the Canadian population, but unfortunately, 24% of us are homicide victims. That is a problem that we are seeing everywhere.

The Moose Hide Campaign was launched in 2011 by the Lacerte family, a father and his daughter who came up with the idea while out hunting moose. This wonderful organization is run by Indigenous men. It is meant for all Canadians, not just us, but everyone. It is a grassroots movement that my son, my husband and many other men are participating in. Women are also invited to be part of this great initiative that everyone should, of course, be involved in. Four million pins were handed out last year as part of the campaign and, from what I understand, five million have been handed out so far this year. Congratulations to the entire Moose Hide Campaign team.

Ceremonies, events and education are all part of the campaign, but the main goal is to prevent violence and promote non-violence. Last week, there was talk about the red dress alert system, which is like an AMBER Alert but for Indigenous women and girls who go missing. It includes other community initiatives to combat the violence they face.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, and I quote:

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.

By understanding the root causes of violence, these people will have a chance to get help and to help create change. That’s what I want, and I hope it’s what we all want. The budget mentioned the Moose Hide Campaign, but it didn’t indicate a funding amount, so I urge you to support it.

We need to go further. Governments have a responsibility, but so do individuals.

I see things changing now. I’m a witness to those changes. A woman holds the title of Speaker of the Senate. A woman also holds the title of Clerk of the Senate. That, to me, is softness and healing.


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