On Saturday, Nov. 24, Secwepemc women and allies joined to walk and speak about ending violence against women and children.
The peaceful walk was held at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24, starting at the Little Shuswap Lake Gas Station and continuing along the trails on Little Shuswap Lake Road before coming to a stop at the Quaaout Lodge.
The march aimed to end the silence around issues of violence against women, and all forms of targeted violence. Organizers said they stand firm on the belief that silence leads to violence and the oppression of their voices. They stand against any and all forms of abuse against women, children and all genders who have experienced abuses.
Particularly, they stated they stand in solidarity with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s movement (MMIW), the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples movement (MMIP), and the Millennium Scoop and all movements regarding the protection of First Nations people: men, women and all children.
A news release from the group states that those who marched hoped to invoke the power of Natural Law, and the power of Secwepemc Matriarchal Sovereignty that is described as their sacred birthright as life givers. They declared that no man-made law stands above this, that no child should ever be abused, cold, hungry or neglected. They said they stand in support, love, care and with a fierce protection against any abuse or predators within communities and within the Secwepemc Nation.
The news release continues: “Abuse must stop, and all abusers must be held accountable by law and held accountable by our people and nations. We stand in solidarity and support with anyone who chooses to stand up to their abuser. Enough is enough. We stand against the removal of children from our Secwepemc Nation and we hold jurisdiction for protection of all children. Our children must also never be placed in foster homes of predators and abusers anywhere. We will not tolerate abuse anymore and our stance is also a declaration of the sovereignty our women hold within our nation.”