Students at Cariboo school remember missing, murdered women with interactive shoe memorial

A teacher looks at the memorial. Heather Norman photosA teacher looks at the memorial. Heather Norman photos
Amber Lightfoot presents to a group of students and teachers at Correlieu as part of the interactive shoe memorial on Dec. 6. Heather Norman photosAmber Lightfoot presents to a group of students and teachers at Correlieu as part of the interactive shoe memorial on Dec. 6. Heather Norman photos
Roxanne Thiara went missing from Prince George in July, 1994. Her remains were found a month later near Burns Lake on Highway 16.Roxanne Thiara went missing from Prince George in July, 1994. Her remains were found a month later near Burns Lake on Highway 16.
A student uses the CBC database to read the story behind one of the names.A student uses the CBC database to read the story behind one of the names.
Names and shoes in the memorial.Names and shoes in the memorial.
A student uses the CBC database to read the story behind one of the names.A student uses the CBC database to read the story behind one of the names.
Part of the memorial for victims of the École Polytechnique shooting in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989.Part of the memorial for victims of the École Polytechnique shooting in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989.

Walking into the gym at Quesnel’s Correlieu Secondary School on Thursday morning (Dec. 6), the first thing students saw was a table set up asking them to make the pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence toward women and girls.

Then, they passed a memorial for the victims of the École Polytechnique de Montreal shooting, which took place on this day (Dec. 6) in 1989. Fourteen female students were killed in the targeted shooting.

Each victim had their name and school major listed with two roses in a vase in front of them. Then, the students were shown two signs, one, with data from StatsCan showing that 76 per cent of female homicides in Canada were committed by their intimate partner, while male homicides are largely committed by strangers or acquaintances.

READ MORE: Correlieu to host shoe memorial for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

The other sign depicted the number of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada as approximately 1,200 victims — a statistic from the RCMP — with a second statistic, from activists, First Nations and former Minister of Status of Women Patty Hajdu, estimating that number is closer to 4,000.

Behind the signs, the bleachers were full of shoes — 308 pairs, to be precise.

Each pair of shoes was matched with a name, one which correlated to a profile included in CBC’s database of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

The front row of the bleachers featured roses in front of names — for local victims (both missing and murdered) of violence against women, all but one who are not included in the database.

The memorial was pulled together by Carilee Drew, an English teacher at Correlieu, and a group of student volunteers.

“I think a lot of people don’t think that gender-based violence is a concern today, and I’m really trying to get across the point that it’s more of a concern now than ever,” says Drew.

She came up with the idea after seeing a similar memorial set up at the Vancouver Art Gallery a couple years ago — something she thought was “a really cool idea.”

Drew says her understanding of the memorial at the gallery was that it was almost like a work of art, something for people to stand and look at. But then she learned the CBC’s database and decided to organize her own, interactive shoe memorial.

Using their phones, students were able to actually search the database for each woman and read her story.

Students, staff, and members of the community all attended the memorial, which was largely run by student volunteers, since Drew had her own class to teach at the same time. The students led classes and guests throughout the gym, stopping to tell them about each section of the memorial.

Amber Lightfoot, a Grade 11 student at Correlieu, is one of the student volunteers who helped pull together the memorial.

“It’s really moving,” says Lightfoot. “It’s one thing reading about it, but then when you actually see a physical representation of how many missing and murdered women in the area there are, it’s very moving. It’s very emotional.”

Dec. 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence Against Women in Canada, and part of the United Nations 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. The display is also in correlation with Correlieu’s Annual White Ribbon campaign, which asks the male students and teachers at the school to pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence toward women or girls.



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

Joseph Albert Brooks, 94-years-young pf Prince Rupert offers traditional prayers and smudging to the sick. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Heart of our City: Joseph Albert Brooks keeps smudging and praying for others

94-year-old Tsimshian elder just wants some help washing his floors

Land along Prince Rupert’s waterfront, PID 012-247-391, where residents say excessive industrial train noise is stemming from, has been found to be owned by the City of Prince Rupert and is not federal land like first presented, Prince Rupert Environmental Society stated on June 17. (Image: supplied by Land Title and Survey, Govt. of BC.)
Error found on land titles map may assist city with noise control enforcement of industry

Prince Rupert residents had been told there was no municipal jurisdiction to enforce noise bylaws

Department of Oceans and Fisheries has announced as of July 19 chinook salmon is not to be fished in certain areas in BC tidal waters until July. Spring chinook salmon are seen swimming. (Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Chinook Salmon limits set to zero in some BC tidal waters

DFO implement restrictions to protect Chinook Salmon

Visitors to a pop-up temporary aquarium in Prince Rupert will have the chance to see marine ecology from July 21 to Aug. 15, like this viewer watching sea anemones at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert pop-up aquarium will bring sea level to eye level in July

A permanent peak to reef ecology centre is in the planning stages by North Coast Ecology Society

Prince Rupert’s Ellen Wright and Graeme Dickens jam out during filming the two Ring System Studio concerts to be broadcast on television during June. (Photo: supplied, H. Cox)
Ring System Studio sounds on television

Two concerts by the Prince Rupert music school will be broadcast in June

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read