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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)

Most Read