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Defenders for Human Rights

Other Human Rights Defenders

The purpose of Speak Truth to Power Canada is to share the personal journeys of some of the many Canadian human rights defenders working today. As lesson plans are thematic and many Canadians assume the responsibility to advance human rights, every lesson plan also includes community-based defenders. It is hoped that your students may be inspired to identify themselves as human rights defenders and take positive action to support human rights in their own life and community. Perhaps your students will become community defenders themselves.

Walking With Our Sisters

Walking With Our Sisters is a collaborative art installation remembering the more than 1,100 indigenous women who have been murdered or have gone missing in the past 30 years. The project uses a pair of vamps – moccasin tops – for each individual woman. The unfinished moccasin represents the unfinished life. In 2012, Métis artist Christi Belcourt made a call for donations of specially made vamps on Facebook, hoping for support in the project. By just over a year later, she had received 1,600 pairs – more than doubling her goal of 600. The installation, which has travelled across North America, seeks not only to remember and to support families, but also to raise awareness of the ongoing mysteries of many of the disappearances.

  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Human Trafficking
  • Cultural Identity and Education

Bridget Perrier

“I was exploited by people around me who were put in place to protect me.” Bridget Perrier, born in Thunder Bay Ontario, given up for adoption, and subsequently raised in a “large, loving, non-Native family,” ended up lured into a life of prostitution by age 12. After a journey of healing spurred on by the death of her son, Perrier now chooses to educate others, as a motivational speaker, about the truths and myths surrounding prostitution, and about human trafficking, especially in Indigenous communities. She is a graduate of the Community Worker Program (George Brown College, Toronto), and was a recipient of the YWCA Woman of Distinction Turning Point award in 2006.
  • Women’s Health and Security
  • Human Trafficking