A social media campaign to keep the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women in the spotlight is taking off.
Leah Gazan started the We Care campaign about three weeks ago after speaking with a woman named Rain Hamilton, a local Manitoba artist who was really shaken by the story of Tina Fontaine — the 15-year-old girl whose body was pulled from Winnipeg's Red River in August.
Gazan and Hamilton are asking people to take a photo while holding up a sign with the hashtags #WeCare and #MMIW.
They set up a Facebook page two days ago and it has exploded with nearly 700 likes and dozens of submitted photos in less than 35 hours — including many from people at the Assembly of First Nations meeting in Winnipeg this week.
That proves it's an issue that is touching a nerve in Canada, said Gazan, adding she hopes it keeps the MMIW issue front and centre leading up to the next federal election.
"They're paying attention enough that it's becoming more part of the discussion certainly, if you hear the debates in the House of Commons," she said.
"And certainly in the City of Winnipeg, the new mayor just made a commitment to address the issue of violence against indigenous women and girls. So I do think people are paying attention but I think there needs to be more pressure put on, we need to continue that pressure until the (federal) election."