Today a crowd united on the traditional territory of the WSANEC peoples to remember the lives of fourteen women gunned down in their institute of learning, in Montreal, 29 years ago. Today is not just about these individuals, but it is also an opportunity
Humans are messy creatures. Interacting with each other, especially in vulnerable ways, comes with risk. Although usually unintentional, we hurt each other often. In this current society we are taught entitlement to bodies from a very young age. For example,
While taking a picture of someone can seem like a fun and insignificant act, these daily acts of entitlement to people’s bodies are some of the things that keep bigger acts of non-consent as the norm. It is easy and significant to ask if it’s okay if I take your picture, to listen to your answer, and respect it, to respect your self-determination. In asking for consent I am holding you as the expert of your own self. I am working to decolonize our relationship. Learning about and practicing consent is a threat to colonialism – when all bodies are valued it is no longer just white, straight, able-bodied, cisgendered bodies that are deemed worthy, valuable, and important. Practicing these small daily acts can have a big impact.
What is Harm Reduction? Harm reduction is a philosophy that focuses on increasing safety and minimizing injury, disease, and death related to behaviours/actions that have risk. The philosophy emphasizes human rights and informed decision-making to empower personal choice, and help