A half dozen Nuu-chah-nulth women and NTC employees took part in the 15-kilometre Port Alberni Paper Chase on March 8. The event coincided with International Women’s Day; a global day for celebrating the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women.
Four women signed up for the 15-kilometre run that started at the Cherry Creek Community Hall, winding its way through the back roads past McLean Mill to Smith Road in Beaver Creek. More than 200 runners from all over Canada took part in the Sunday run.
Katelyn Thompson is an NTC nurse stationed in Tofino; she ran in the lead, raising awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls cause with the red hand print across her mouth, which is meant to symbolize silence in the face of violence against women.
Joining her on the grueling run were Autumn David, Amelie Duquette and Danielle Serge, who said it was important for them to take part in the run to bring attention to the MMIWG cause on International Women’s Day.
Sisters Martina and Megan Martin took part in the event as spotters. They too wore the red hand print. The sisters remember their relative Lisa Marie Young of Tla-o-qui-aht, who went missing in Nanaimo on June 30, 2002. Despite extensive searches, Young remains missing.
“I think they should all be recognized,” said Megan, referring to women that are missing or have been murdered.