Dec 6, 2019
The University of New Brunswick is hosting two memorial events in Fredericton and Saint John to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and to remember the women killed during the Montreal Massacre 30 years ago on Dec. 6, 1989.
Many of the young women whose lives were taken were engineering students.
“Thirty years after the massacre at École Polytechnique, it is important to take the time to honour and remember the 14 women who lost their lives,” says Molly Boyle, Engineering Undergraduate Society representative and fourth-year electrical engineering student at UNB Fredericton. “The ceremony acknowledges the senseless act of gender-based violence and raises awareness about the issues women still face today.
“Dec. 6 is also a day to celebrate women in engineering and to highlight the gender imbalance currently present in STEM fields.”
The Saint John ceremony will be held on Dec. 6 at 12:30 p.m. in room 104, Oland Hall. It will begin with a Smudging Ceremony performed by UNB Piluwitahusuwin Amanda Reid, followed by remarks from members of the UNB and broader community. Patti Chisholm of UNB Saint John will reflect on and remember the 14 women whose lives were taken, Chris Doran will offer remarks on behalf of the Silent Witness Project, Amanda Reid will return to the podium to speak about violence against Indigenous women, Jennifer McKenzie will deliver remarks on issues facing women in engineering, Karen Ludwig will discuss issues faced by women in politics, and Trish Pendleton will talk about supporting victims of sexual assault.
The ceremony will conclude with a candlelight vigil walk to the “Silent Witnesses” exhibit in the Hans W. Klohn Commons, where musical duo Masa Kikuchi and John Lawrence will perform in honour of women who have lost their lives to gender-based violence.
“This year’s memorial will address current issues – violence against Indigenous women, against women in politics, against women on campus, against women in the workplace, against women in New Brunswick – but this 30th anniversary also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on both the gains and the setbacks that have been experienced since that fateful day, 30 years ago,” says Dr. Chris Doran, who sits on the organizing committee and is also a sociology professor on UNB’s Saint John campus.
The Fredericton ceremony will feature presentations by Silke Brabander, associate director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, Katy Haralampides, UNB civil engineering professor, and Andie Marks, program facilitator at Family Violence NB. It will take place Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. in Dineen Auditorium, Head Hall.
Both ceremonies are open to campus communities and the public. All are encouraged to attend.
Media contact: Hilary Creamer Robinson