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Annual event celebrated resiliency

Community members united by marching to 'Take Back the Night'

Barbara Roden

Free Press

This year’s Take Back the Night Walk, which took place in 100 Mile House recently, was very well supported by the community.

More than 125 people participated – the largest ever turnout for the event.

“We’re pretty happy about the turnout, community spirit, and support,” says Sonja Ramsay, executive director of the 100 Mile House & District Women’s Centre, which put on the event.

Kalika Moody, Women’s Centre counsellor for the Stopping the Violence program, says feedback from attendees indicated this was the best walk yet.

“We were so pleasantly surprised by the number of people who turned out: young and old, male and female.”

Members of the 100 Mile House Wranglers were there, as well as representatives from the Canim Lake and Canoe Creek bands and the Proud Parents for LGBT Youth, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

Cariboo Regional District Directors Al Richmond and Margo Wagner participated, as did District of 100 Mile House Councillor Spence Henderson.

The 25-minute walk took place on a beautiful night, and ended at the 100 Mile Community Hall with a candlelight ceremony that included supper and a number of speakers.

One speaker was support worker Steve Neufeld who spoke about the importance of men being mentors to boys and telling them violence against women is wrong.

Wagner talked about a personal traumatic experience and emphasized the importance of speaking out about trauma and breaking down the barriers surrounding it.

Loretta Billy of the Canoe Creek Band spoke of a desire to change things for women so they are no longer just a statistic, and an inspirational talk about forgiveness was given by Mary Thomas.

The Baladi Babes Belly Dance Troupe performed at the event, and the community photography club, Women in Focus, took pictures.

Chief Mike Archie and members of the Canim Lake Band performed the opening ceremony.

“We felt there was a need to go beyond just having a walk,” says Moody. “We wanted to address resiliency and strength, and support generational and community healing.”

She praises the many volunteers who helped make the evening such a success.

“The whole event had a really good energy and it’s important that both genders come together to address these issues.”