Cathy Lindsay believes in the power of inclusiveness to create real change.
Lindsay is an Elder from Kenora, Ontario, who will be speaking at the Ne-Chee Friendship
Centre’s Moose Hide Campaign Day event on May 11.
She recalls an event with a sharing circle years ago. While she was smudging everyone a
speaking, she noticed that only women were in the circle. The men were standing in the
“When I was finished with my prayer, I spoke a little bit about why we were gathering,” Lindsay
said. “I spoke to the men, and I welcomed them to our circle, and I said, ‘What is a circle? A circle is north, south, east and west. It involves everybody, and we are all one.’ The men, they just didn’t know if they were welcome.”
Although she didn’t know of the Moose Hide Campaign at the time, her values aligned perfectly
with those of the campaign. Bringing men and boys into the conversation—or the circle— to end gender-based violence is a core part of what the campaign is all about.
Breaking down barriers
Lindsay is an Elder, a matriarch, a mother of two boys and a grandmother to seven
granddaughters. She has worked extensively in the field of family violence and addiction. As a
shelter worker and board member for the Kenora Fellowship Centre, she works with people from all walks of life who are on a healing journey.
Lindsay has experienced domestic abuse and homelessness herself. She knows we must break
down barriers and really come together if we want to end devastating issues like violence against women and children.
“If you see someone living on the street, acknowledge them! Look them in the eye. Nod your
head. Do something. Tell them that they matter.”
Lindsay has also spent a lot of time visiting women in prison. She couldn’t stand the idea of
talking to the women with a wall or glass between them. Instead, she convinced the prison to
allow to her to sit inside the cells with the women.
“I didn’t think it was right for me to be talking with a wall between us. That is not what this is
about. We’re trying to better things. Why are you putting blockades and walls in between? No.
It’s just wrong.”
Planning the Moose Hide event
Robert Laurin runs the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin, or I am a Kind Man, program through
Kenora’s Ne-Chee Friendship Centre friendship centre. The program is for Indigenous men who have either been through bail or the court systems and have been involved in domestic violence. It’s guided by an Indigenous approach to healing that recognizes the distinct histories, unique cultures, and shared traumas of all Indigenous people negatively impacted by colonization.
When Laurin stumbled across a moose hide pin in the friendship centre and read about the
campaign, he knew that it aligned perfectly with his program. The friendship centre quickly
formed a committee to plan the 2023 Moose Hide Campaign Day in Kenora.
“Our elder is so excited about the event,” Laurin said. “And everyone we’ve talked to about this
is so supportive and helpful. This violence is an unnecessary part of life. We all want to see it
The event will feature an opening prayer, a Walk to End Violence, as well as a keynote address
by Lindsay, drummers, singers and more. Laurin gives deep thanks to all the committee members who worked tirelessly to make the event come to life: Dylan Shumka White (who started the whole campaign), Brianna Boucha, Angelique Dauriac, and Julian Jordan.
Laurin knows that violence against women and children has gone on far too long. That’s why
talking about it openly is so important.
“Hopefully, the younger generations will have to deal with this less and less and have happy
childhoods. I hope for something as simple as that.” Our circle of one involves everyone
At her keynote address, Lindsay will be speaking about coming together “as one” and how —
whether it’s someone living on the street or in prison— the circle involves absolutely everyone.
“Men. Women. Children. We’re all part of that circle of one. We need to include everybody to
She knows that making real change on issues like ending violence against women and children
takes more than just one day. She sees a healthy community as one where people are
volunteering and doing advocacy work every single day of the year.
“I want this to continue. We just can’t stop. Keep it up,” she said. “Keep it up.”