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December 6 - National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Submitted by nfuruyam on Tue, 12/01/2015 - 4:25pm

About the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 6th was declared by Canada's Parliament as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women following the murder of 14 women at L'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal on this day in 1989.  Remembering this horrific event has become the basis of recognizing and supporting action against widespread violence committed against women in our society. 

This year's December 6th events will be held on Friday, December 4, in the Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary.  The theme is Truth and Reconciliation.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.  

What: December 6th - National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
When: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, 12 - 1 pm
Where: Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary

  • Dr. Dru Marshall, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), University of Calgary
  • Dr. Pamela Palmater, Ryerson University
  • Jacie Alook, VP External, First Nations Student Association

What: December 6th - Panel Discussion "Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls"
When: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, 2 - 3:30 pm
Where: Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary
Moderator: Dr. Roberta Rice, University of Calgary

  • Dr. Pamela Palmater, Ryerson University
  • Naomi Sayers, University of Ottawa
  • Josie Nepinak, Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society

This year's events are supported by:
Faculty of Arts, Schulich School of Engineering, Faculty of Law

About Speakers

Dr. Pam Palmater is a Mi’kmaq lawyer, author, social justice activist, and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University from Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She has university degrees, including a BA from St. Thomas in Native Studies; an LLB from UNB, and her Masters and Doctorate in Law from Dalhousie University specializing in Indigenous law.

Pam has been volunteering and working in First Nation issues for over 25 years on a wide range of issues like poverty, housing, education, Aboriginal and treaty rights, and legislation impacting First Nations. She came in second in the Assembly of First Nations election for National Chief in 2012 and was one of the spokespeople and public educators for the Idle No More movement in 2012-13.

She has been recognized with many awards for her social justice advocacy on behalf of First Nations generally, and Indigenous women and children specifically, including the 2012 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice, the 2012 Women’s Courage Award in Social Justice, Bertha Wilson Honour Society 2012 and Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2013 Top 5 Most Influential Lawyer in the Human Rights category, Canada's Top Visionary Women Leaders 2014, and the 2015 UNB Alumni Award of Distinction.

Her books, Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens and Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity, and legal articles, academic journals, magazine articles and invited news editorials focus on Indigenous law, politics, and governance. She is a well-known speaker and media commentator and is frequently called as an expert before Parliamentary and United Nations committees dealing with laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples.

Naomi Sayers is an indigenous feminist, activist and writes at She is in her second year of the English common law program at the University of Ottawa, and she graduated from Western University with an honours specialization in criminology and a minor in women's studies. Naomi is the founder of South Western Ontario Sex Workers and she is a part of the Native Youth Sexual Network. Naomi enjoys community organizing and community building. She is also a strong believer in working collaboratively within and across communities, especially with other criminalized/over-policed communities, to help build support networks and to help build capacity.

Josie Nepinak is the Executive Director of Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, the only aboriginal urban women’s shelter in Alberta, and has a strong 25 year  background steeped in complex, social issues working with Aboriginal organizations and advocating for aboriginal women and families affected by family violence.  She has a degree in Women's Studies with a graduate studies in Management.  Josie is Anishinabe from the treaty four area and believes in a balanced approach, with teachings of Aboriginal wisdom and healing in combination with contemporary western methodologies in promoting the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities.  Josie brings focus, clarity, creativity and inspiration to ensure Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society achieves results.

Dr. Roberta Rice, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Calgary, specializes in Indigenous politics, with a focus on Latin America. Her research examines diverse forms of contentious collective action in response to the implementation of market reforms, including direct action tactics and participation in electoral politics. Her book, "The New Politics of Protest: Indigenous Mobilization in Latin America's Neoliberal Era," was nominated for the 2014 Canadian Political Science Association prize in comparative politics. She is currently working on a comparative research project on Indigenous rights and representation in Canada and Latin America that was funded by a SSHRC standard research grant. Her case studies include Nunavut and Yukon in Canada and Bolivia and Ecuador in Latin America.

December 6th Commemorative Candles

The making of the December 6th candles stems from a tradition started in 1987 by the Canadian Voice of Women who began making candles to promote peace.  The purpose of these candles is to not only remember the lives of the 14 women who died tragically on December 6, 1989, but to inspire us to do what is within our power to bring an end to violence.   The candles are hand-made by members of the University community.  We use locally produced100% pure beeswax candles.

December 6th Commemorative Candle Making

Candle-making at the Women's Resource Centre is a fun activity! Members of the U of C community can drop-in, bring lunch and enjoy good company! Free coffee & tea are provided. This event usually takes place mid-November each year. The candles are then sold on campus in the days leading up to the December 6th Memorial to cover costs with extra proceeds going toward volunteer activities at the WRC.

What: December 6th Candle Making
When: Monday, Nov. 16 until Thursday, Nov. 19, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Women's Resource Centre

Candle Sale

Beeswax candles are $5 per pair and come in four colours (bordeaux, green, natural, purple).  The candles are sold at the Women's Resource Centre during office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm) and at tables on campus on following dates:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26, 11 am - 2 pm @ TFDL Foyer
  • Monday, Nov. 30, 11 am - 2 pm @ Mac Hall (between the Coffee Company & Korean BBQ)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 11 am - 2 pm @ Mac Hall (between the Coffee Company & Korean BBQ)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2, 11 am - 2 pm @ Mac Hall (between the Coffee Company & Korean BBQ)
  • Thursday, Dec. 3, 11 am - 2 pm @ Mac Hall (between the Coffee Company & Korean BBQ)
  • Friday, Dec. 4, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm / 2 - 4 pm @ Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre
  • Until Thursday, Dec. 10, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm @ Women's Resource Centre