WHY DO WE USE MOOSE HIDE?
The question has been raised on a number of occasions as to why we use Moose Hide as the symbol for the Moose Hide Campaign and how it is associated to ending violence against women and children. The Moose Hide Campaign is open to receiving questions as one of the main objectives of the Campaign is to generate respectful dialogue.
The answers to this question are as follows:
1. Where did the inspiration for the Moose Hide Campaign come from?
The idea for the Moose Hide Campaign came to the founders Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven during a hunting trip on their traditional territory along the "Highway of Tears", a stretch of highway in northern B.C. where many women have been murdered or gone missing. As they harvested a moose, they had a moment of inspiration: to tan the moose hide and cut it into squares to engage men in efforts to end violence against women and children. Since then over one million squares have been distributed. The inspiration came from the land, from the loving relationship between a father and daughter, from the stretch of highway where violence has taken so many loved ones, and from the spirit of the moose.
2. How is using moose hide connected to Indigenous cultures?
Indigenous peoples have had a deep and sacred connection with the natural world since time immemorial. This relationship has always included harvesting practices such as hunting, fishing, plant gathering, and berry picking. Many protocols and teachings have been passed down through the generations to guide these harvesting practices and ensure that principles of respect, gratitude, sustainability, and reciprocity are honoured. In this context, Moose have always represented an important source of food and clothing for Indigenous communities and for many non-Indigenous communities. For many generations, moose hide was used for ceremonial purposes and for making moccasins, jackets, gloves, rope, etc. It is associated with gentleness, warmth, comfort, hope, and love. The use of the moose hide for this campaign honours this sacred relationship and keeps the traditional protocols and teachings of our Elders alive.
3. How are moose hides sourced and produced?
All moose hide squares come from traditional hunters who hunt moose for food and ceremonial purposes, or from animals who have died in road accidents. No animals are hunted specifically to supply hides for the Moose Hide Campaign. The patches are produced with care by Indigenous women who are deeply committed to the protection of women and children and who value the living origins of the patches. Making the patches provides a valuable source of income for the women involved.
4. Are there synthetic, animal-free versions of the moose hide?
Yes, the Moose Hide Campaign honours the beliefs of those that do not agree with hunting and who choose not to wear moose hide. For individuals who support the Campaign’s efforts to end violence against women and children but would prefer not to wear moose hide, the campaign produces animal-free naugahyde (synthetic) patches. Some individuals also create their own cloth squares in solidarity with the goal of ending violence against women and children. Moose hide and synthetic pins and cards can be ordered online and delivered free of charge anywhere in Canada.