It was in 2011 that Paul Lacerte, a member of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in British Columbia, launched the Moose Hide campaign with his teenage daughter Raven.

The father-daughter duo started the nonprofit with the goal of raising awareness and hopefully reducing violence against Indigenous women and children.

Campaign officials distribute square moosehide lapel pins to be worn by those who want to demonstrate their commitment to ending violence against all women and children.

Since the campaign launched over a decade ago, approximately three million pins have been distributed nationally.

The goal is to have 10 million pins sent out in the next few years.

Thursday (May 12) is the organization’s main annual event to engage Canadians and invite them to take part in both a journey of reconciliation and a chance to reduce violence in their communities.

The Moose Hide campaign began as a small gathering of supporters. Approximately 350,000 people were expected today to participate in events across Canada. This is a significant increase from the 80,000 Canadians who took part in the campaign’s main event in 2021.

Sage Lacerte, Raven’s sister, is the national ambassador for the Moose Hide campaign. She took on additional publicity engagements while Raven was on maternity leave. Sage explained the dramatic increase in attendance at today’s events.

“Something really happened during COVID,” Sage said.

Because crowd sizes were limited in many places, Moose Hide campaign officials began offering virtual events in 2021.

This allowed campaign officials to dramatically increase the number of people they could reach.

A large number of schools, both K-12 and post-secondary, have joined the campaign. There has also been a huge increase in participation from Indigenous communities, as well as Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses.

For many, participating can be as simple as engaging from the comfort of their own home.

People are invited to recite the following sentence: “I pledge to take a stand against violence against women and children”.

Those who make the pledge are encouraged to post it on social media with the #MooseHidePledge

While many cities will hold in-person events this year, remote events will also continue.

“We had to adjust and be able to adapt,” Sage said, adding that virtual events will continue to play a key role in the coming years of the campaign.

Paul and Sage will be attending an event in Victoria today. They are expected to be joined by the Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon, who is Inuk, and Murray Sinclair, the former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“He’s a longtime supporter of our campaign,” Sage said. “But this will be the first time he’s been to one of our events.”

Paul is thrilled with how quickly the Moose Hide campaign has grown recently.

“We believe the more ceremonies, the more healing there will be,” he said. “And more healing means there’s no more”

Lacerte also believes that it won’t be long before the campaign can achieve any of its goals.

“We’re on a pretty steep trajectory,” he said. “It took us seven years to get to 1 million pins. And then another three years to reach 3 million. At the current rate, we will be at 10 million by 2025.”

The Moose Hide Campaign has also partnered with Reciprocal Consulting, a Vancouver-based Indigenous impact measurement firm.

A 2020 Reciprocal Consulting report indicated that for every Moose Hide Campaign Pin distributed, five conversations were started because of that Pin.

As today marks the campaign’s main annual outreach event, Sage said the work never stops for campaign representatives.

“The campaign runs year-round,” she said, adding that people can host an event in their community anytime or set up a booth to raise awareness about the campaign anytime, anywhere. .

Information about the Moose Hide campaign is available at https://moosehidecampaign.ca/get-involved/moose-hide-campaign-day

Local Journalism Initiative reporters are supported by a financial contribution from the Government of Canada.

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