The V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos 2015 campaign is well underway, as volunteers and participants gear up for the 2nd Annual One Billion Rising Celebration and Art Show, “The Silent Voice” to be held on Sunday, March 8th, from 12 to 4p.m at the Osoyoos Indian Band Community Hall.
“This year’s art show, ‘The Silent Voice’ has motivated us to stretch the boundaries of women and violence, giving often silenced voices a platform to be heard.” says Art Show Coordinator Maxyne Lockhart. “So far the response has been unanimously positive and we aim to double last year’s representation, participation and monies raised. I feel strongly on both a personal and political level that addressing the issue of violence against women is necessary if we are to move forward as a healthy loving community.”
Lockhart isn’t the only volunteer for whom the subject has a personal meaning. Osoyoos Indian Band member Darlene George (pictured above), who has been a part of V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos since the beginning had this to say about her involvement:
“I became involved because ending violence against women is something I think all people should aspire for. Being of First Nations decent brings with it a very high sense of urgency as First Nations women continue to go missing and continue to be found dead at a much higher rate than the average Canadian. Why?
“Our women are marginalized when reported missing. Instead of investigating the missing women, they are first judged and publically denounced as being involved in high-risk lifestyles. Accusations of prostitution and taking off for a party are the statements the police make to the public. The perpetrators are humanized while the victims are blamed and judged.
“The reality is that First Nations People have the highest rate of poverty in our Nation, which is proven to be one of the biggest contributing factors to high-risk lifestyles. Add to that years of fighting for recognition for the abuse suffered at the hands of the government under the guise of assimilation and abuse from churches and people of authority such as the police and you realize that our people are not even able to trust those that are supposed to keep us safe.”
V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos is still accepting artist registrations, and are always looking for volunteers to help out in any number of ways. Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 12th at 7pm at the OIB Resource Center. If you are unable to volunteer, we encourage you to attend the events, to participate through the purchase of a raffle ticket, or by sponsoring an ad in our program for our production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’, to be held in Osoyoos on April 10th and 11th. For more information on V-Day, please visit our website at www.vdayoliverosoyoos.org or email vdayoliverosoyoos @ gmail.com.