Today marks 30 years since the mass shooting at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal that claimed the lives of 14 young women. This act of gender-based violence is commemorated across Canada each December 6 with the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
This year, to mark the anniversary, a special focus was given to taking action to eliminate violence against women. The hashtag #ActionsMatter punctuated Twitter throughout the day.
To mark the day, Humber held a gathering for staff and students, which included Indigenous drumming and dance performances, as well as keynote speaker, Tasha Beeds.
Beeds is a scholar of nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), Metis, and Barbadian ancestry from the Treaty 6 territories of Saskatchewan. She is a professor, a creative artist, a poet, a Water Walker, and a Midewiwin woman. An empassioned speaker, Beeds told her story of the obstacles she encountered throughout her life and of the many issues that are inextricably linked to gender-based violence including sexism, racism, ageism, colonialism, homophobia and ableism.
The event closed with participants signing a banner committing to take action against gender-based violence and with the distribution of red roses. A thought-provoking event, participants came away with a strong message: what action will you take to end gender-based violence?