The mass shooting at École Polytechnique 30 years ago on Dec. 6 has been etched in Canadian history as a day to take action on violence against women.
On Friday, the University of Lethbridge pointed students towards a special display to help honour the national movement.
“This was an idea that came up from one of our community engagement members to do something this year,” said Paula Cardozo, a librarian at the University of Lethbridge.
Cardozo said this year, the university wanted to place a respectful emphasis on a special space that has been a staple to the institution since 1991: the Women’s Peace Garden.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the library, the garden is filled with 14 unique planters that each bear the name of one of the victims of the 1989 mass shooting at École Polytechnique.
“That space is always there for anybody who wants to come,” Cardozo said.
“It’s a bit of a place for quiet contemplation where people can go to remember the women that were murdered that day as well as the actions being taken collectively together.”
However, Cardozo said it wasn’t just the 1989 tragedy that the university wanted to honour but all the action being taken since then to combat violence against women.
“We were given some advice not to just merely concentrate on the tragedy of the event but also on activism against gender-based violence,” she said.
“We know that women still face increased discrimination and violence, and there’s still much work to be done. So we set up a table of resources to reflect the work that’s being done by so many people to forever end violence.”
The display was also home to 14 white roses, which honoured the Order of the White Rose Scholarship.
The scholarship was created by École Polytechnique and is awarded to one Canadian female engineering student every year as another way to keep the memory of the 14 victims alive.