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Moose Hide Campaign events scheduled for May 16 in Kimberley and Cranbrook

Grassroots movement stands up against gender-based violence

Moose Hide Campaign Day events have been planned for the third year in Kimberley and for the first time in Cranbrook. The events will take place on May 16 at 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Cranbrook and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Kimberley.

The campaign, which began over 10 years ago along the Highway of Tears, is a grassroots movement led primarily by Indigenous and non-Indigenous men to raise awareness for and stand up against gender-based violence and violence towards women and children.

Kimberley’s Sam McCurdie has helped organize the Moose Hide Campaign events in Kimberley for the past two years alongside Renée Simard and a crew of other volunteers. He told the Bulletin that this year a committee of around eight people was formed, and they’ve added an event in Cranbrook event as well.

They also increased the amount of speakers they have. This year, attendees will hear from McCurdie himself, Kimberley City Councillor Sue Cairns, Indigenous educator Michele Sam, aq’am nasu’kin (chief) Joe Pierre, Indigenous artist Blaine Burgoyne and Scott McLeod, formerly of the RCMP who now works with Victim Services.


“What somebody can expect is a safe inclusive space to listen to some guest speakers share their wisdom and experience on gender-based violence and how to combat that,” McCurdie said. “Just going to create a safe atmosphere for learning, listening and ceremony.”

READ MORE: Moose Hide Campaign Day in Kimberley

McCurdie added that it is a very powerful day, and he’s seen it grow each year since he started it in Kimberley two years ago. In particular McCurdie said it’s great to see how much the local schools are getting involved.

The events have always had a strong student presence, but this year School District 6 has also contributed a large donation. McCurdie said the Skookumchuk Pulp Mill where he works and his union, PPWC Local 15, have also made donations.

“It’s an exciting time for sure, but it’s also kind of sobering in a way, because the data is still trending upwards as far as domestic issues and violence perpetrated by men,” McCurdie said. “So it’s trying to get away from the language of violence towards women, there’s no accountability to who’s causing the violence, so it’s violence perpetrated by men, because the vast majority of it is violence perpetrated by men.

“That’s the nature of the movement is to own it and hold ourselves accountable and not sweep it under the rug, because when we do that it festers and becomes bigger and bigger.”

The Moose Hide Campaign pin, consisting of a small square of moose hide worn on clothes or carrying bags, is offered as a “medicine for a social illness impacting all Canadians,” according to

McCurdie said the pin serves as a conversation piece to keep these issues out of the shadows, as well as a reminder to the wearer of what they stand for.

“Seeing Moose Hide around, especially on students’ backpacks, is very moving to me, because they’re the next generation and I don’t want to live in a community where it’s something like three in 10 girls will experience some form of assault, or attempt at assault by the time they’re 15,” he said.

“That’s not okay with me and it’s kind of as simple and as complicated as that. The moose hide on kids is a big deal.”

McCurdie said he first heard of the movement through social media around three years ago and despite it being active largely in Victoria and Ontario, he felt surprised he hadn’t heard about it previously, especially since he’s been an activist for years.

In his own personal life, McCurdie feels connected to the campaign because his grandmother, who is his Mi’kmaq ancestry connection, was a victim of sexual assault in the 1940s.

“I’ve got some deep roots with it for sure, but it’s also when I started reading some of the statistics that are really well documented out there, it was just really sickening,” he said.

“I’ve got two daughters and a lot of the time it seems to take men either having a daughter to kind of be able to see the humanity in all women, and I think it’s kind of sad, but I’m also guilty of that a little bit, because my daughters really brought out a protective part of me.”

McCurdie said getting involved has also helped him grow and remind him he is still learning himself, in terms of deconstructing the ways he’s been indoctrinated with regards to his own beliefs and ways of thinking.

“Just like everybody I have a lot of ways to grow still, as far as my own moments of misogyny and so it serves me daily as a reminder as well as to asking, ‘why do I have this thought in my head?’” he explained. “It’s challenging, but it’s the best kind of challenging every because it just promotes a lot inner growth in my own experience, which my wife would definitely say that like, I’m not done doing it.”

Going forward, McCurdie would like to see more men stepping up and getting involved. He said their committee is primarily women and it’s often women who have been getting involved.

“Ultimately I think the message this time will be when will we, as men, stop putting the burden on women to stay safe and start accepting the truth, which is that men need to stop being violent,” he said.

If you’d like to get involved you can contact McCurdie at and you can learn more about the movement at

About the Author: Paul Rodgers

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