Hundreds of people came together in Victoria on Thursday for the 12th annual Moose Hide Campaign Walk.
The walk is held to call attention to gender-based violence in Canada with events held nationwide.
According to data from Statistics Canada, 44 per cent of women reported experiencing some form of intimate partner violence since the age of 15.
For Indigenous women, that number is much higher, at 61 per cent.
“This is a very important day,” Palexelsiya (Lorelai Williams), told Global News at the march. “We have to keep raising awareness of this issue because our Indigenous women and girls are still going missing and being murdered at a high rate so any awareness is something we really need.”
Palexelsiya said many people have been calling for a state of emergency to bring attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Tatyanna Harrison, Chelsea Poorman, and Noelle ‘Elli’ O’Soup were all found dead last year in the Lower Mainland.
Palexelsiya said this just shows how missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls are still going missing and dying at a higher rate.
She said Canada first needs to deal with the racist policies and laws still in place before any real change can happen.
“So that can be a huge step,” Palexelsiya added. “Even just trying to get there would be a tiny one.”
Organizers said in a release that more than 400,000 Canadians from coast to coast to coast signed up to take part in the day’s events virtually and in person.
One of the cornerstones of the campaign is the pin, which is worn by people who are committed to speak out against gender-based and domestic violence.
“There’s a lot of work left to do, there’s a lot of work,” Raven Lacerte, one of the Moose Hide Campaign co-founders said.
“Violence is happening every single day to our most precious ones in this country and so for every moose hide pin (it) represents at least five conversations about ending violence towards women and children and with more than four million pins out there that’s more than 20 million convos that are happening about ending violence towards women and children.”
Anyone affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people needing support can call a national toll free crisis line at 1-844-413-6649.
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