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Remembering Montreal and indigenous women

07 December 2017

"As we mark this anniversary, we also mourn all the women and girls whose lives have been lost to gender-based violence, and we recognize that many women face violence in their daily lives".

In 2014, the Winnipeg native organized a memorial service at the University of Manitoba to mark the 25th anniversary of the Dec 6. tragedy.

In Montreal, a wreath of white roses will be placed at the commemorative plaque at the school where the shooting occurred.

Thomson smiled and posed for photos as she was presented with the $30,000 scholarship as well as a gold and silver necklace and 14 white roses - one for each of the 14 women who died. "If they're in the workplace and if they are being harassed or any type of violence, that they will feel more confident to come forward - because all those women are being heard now and things are being done about it", she said. Each woman's name was read out.

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She sees the award as a way to both honour their memories and celebrate the progress that has been made since then.

In 1989, Marc Lepine opened fire at École Polytechnique, killing 14 engineering students simply because they were women. By lighting the night, they hope to draw attention to the need for action on violence against women in Canada.

"From something disgusting, something lovely came out", she said.

According to the federal government, women are at a 20 per cent higher risk of violent victimization than men, when all other risk factors are taken into account. Her daughter Nina was in university when she was brutally murdered in 1991.

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The award was given out days ahead of the 28th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre on December 6. Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau will attend a ceremony for the 14 victims at Mount Royal Park.

Here at home, dozens gathered at the Medicine Hat College to honour the victims at an event hosted by the Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society (MHWSS).

After widespread criticism, the group announced it was moving its event to a sugar shack near Quebec City.

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Remembering Montreal and indigenous women