A National Women’s Association of Canada pin promotes conversation and support of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Children movement. Photo credit: Akira Cooper

Sage Lacerete, national ambassador of the Moose Hide Campaign, knows about the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Children first hand.

“I have a very shaken reality that two of my first cousins have gone missing and been murdered in British Columbia,” she said on Oct. 9 when Sisters In Spirit partnered with the Moose Hide Campaign and Project Lighthouse to host an information session.

Lacerte and her family founded the campaign in 2011 to spread awareness about MMIWC and those who stand up and support the movement. They distribute moose hide pins to educate people across Canada and to date, they’ve shared over 3 million of them.

“The tool in choosing to use as an act of healing and resistance of these atrocities is my voice, is to be with Moose Hide Campaign and to spread our message,” said Lacerete.

It is a campaign that is for Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up and in support of no violence towards MMIWC.

Held during Mental Illness Awareness Week, the Zoom meeting was for all students and staff who wished to attend and educate themselves on Indigenous matters. The registered event had 31 participants including the four representatives and an introduction from Algonquin College’s president Claude Brulé.

“No health without mental health,” said Brulé before the meeting began.

“The Mamisdosewin Centre has always proactively supported the MMIWC,” said Nathaniel Parant, activities and events representative with the Mamidosewin Centre. “It has always been an active centre echoing the importance of these movements.”

He was one of the hosts during the meeting and later spoke about the importance of meetings like these. “It’s really something that spreads to everyone’s hearts, really meaningful,” said Parant.

Along with Parant, key speakers Jackie Tenute, Aboriginal Counsellor at the Student Support Centre Welcome Centre and Sarah Crawford, fellow spokesperson started off by singing the “Strong Women Song” which is about a woman from Kingston Penitentiary whose inmates sung to her throughout the night so she would feel strong.

The end of the meeting consisted of a healing circle where anyone who wished to share their thoughts about anything whether that was a story or a statement about the meeting was welcome to and where the recording was then cut for the circle and its participants to be private.