OHSWEKEN – Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services will host their 4th Annual Community Walk, #Walk4changesixnay, this coming Saturday, September 26.
Ganohkwasra strives – through the walk and various other initiatives – to raise awareness of violence, and promotes different ways for community members to make healthy choices.
“Our community will join together in this walk so that our voices are heard. Violence, whether it be violence against women, partner violence, bullying in the schools and/or workplace, violence in sports, cyber-bullying, elder abuse, sexual assault or any form of violence against anyone is unacceptable”, the organization stated in a press release sent to the Two Row Times.
Event Coordinator and Community Educator Michelle Thomas says she expects strong attendance at the walk, with participants from previous years returning.
“[I] would have to say this event will be a success,” said Thomas. “Many people that have walked before come to walk again, and it’s just to give them the support they need if they’ve suffered.”
The walk will begin at 10:30 a.m. Community members will walk from four different directions into Veterans Park. Starting points are the Six Nations Community Hall (West), Baptist Church (East), Jamieson School (South) and Ganohkwasra (North).
Walkers will then converge at the intersection, at Six Nations Veterans Park.
When asked what visitors can expect once they arrive at Veterans Park, Thomas said the crowds will enjoy a brief but activity-packed event.
“It’s not a very long event, but many people return; last year we got about 300 people. We usually start the barbeque around noon, then the speakers will speak and we have a motivational speaker coming as well,” said Thomas.
In addition to the free barbeque and speakers, community members will also take in some information booths from agencies in Six Nations and surrounding area, free draws, and free t-shirts. A video booth will be set-up where community members can express a message to end violence on camera.
The Walk will be videotaped to produce Ganohkwasra’s third Public Service Announcement. The event will conclude at 1:00 pm.
Prior to the event, the organization will also hold a community wide social media contest.
“This year we’re doing a Twitter contest using [the hashtag] #walk4change6nay,” Thomas explained. “It’s to help the awareness spread, and the prize is a PS4. Some families can’t afford systems like that, so it’ll be a nice thing to give away as a prize”
To enter, community members can tweet “#walk4change6nay” until September 25. Remember to tag @ganohkwasraGFASS with every tweet. A maximum of 10 entries will be allowed.
Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services is a non-profit organization. They offer various programs and services to First Nations people experiencing family violence. They provide holistic programs based on Ogweho:weh teachings that integrate the mind, body and spirit. This combined with mainstream counselling techniques provides a basis for helping one to accept responsibility for their total being.
You can find out more information about their services, social media contest and events at www.ganohkwasra.ca