More than 30 years ago, on December 6, 1989, the lives of 14 women were cut tragically short in a violent mass shooting at École Polytechnique in Montreal. The violence and misogyny of these events cannot be forgotten.
On December 6, at 5:10 pm, which is the time that the shooting began, I encourage The University of Winnipeg community to join me as we pause in remembrance of:
- Geneviève Bergeron. 21 years old.
- Hélène Colgan. 23 years old.
- Nathalie Croteau. 23 years old.
- Barbara Daigneault. 22 years old.
- Anne-Marie Edward. 21 years old.
- Maud Haviernick. 29 years old.
- Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz. 31 years old.
- Maryse Laganière. 25 years old.
- Maryse Leclair. 23 years old.
- Anne-Marie Lemay. 22 years old.
- Sonia Pelletier. 28 years old.
- Michèle Richard. 21 years old.
- Annie St-Arneault. 23 years old.
- Annie Turcotte. 20 years old.
If it weren’t for these tragic events, they would now be between the ages of 52 to 63. The loss is immeasurable.
As a way of honouring these individuals, the University displays a plaque remembering Nathalie Croteau at the entrance to the Hive on the first floor of Lockhart Hall. This is part of Lin Gibson’s multi-site artwork Murdered by Misogyny: Forever, where 14 names were displayed at different sites across the city during a 1990 commemorative installation. After the exhibit ended, the plaque was purchased by the University in partnership with the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association with a donation to Osborne House.
As we reflect on this tragedy and pause to remember the victims, it is also a time to reflect on the woman, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals for whom gender-based violence continues to be a daily reality. Beyond December 6, I encourage you to continue to look for ways that you can take action to end violence against women.
Thank you for joining me in recognizing The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
Dr. James Currie
Interim President & Vice-Chancellor
The University of Winnipeg