The first Take Back the Night (TBTN) in York Region that the planning committee is aware of was in 1998.
When we look back at Take Back the Night in York Region, it’s important to mention that this event was first held in Anishinaabe communities on Georgina Island. Since then, the event was held in Newmarket for many years before being held in Richmond Hill in 2019; both locations are significantly more difficult to access for those living on Georgina Island.
Indigenous women are at least three times more likely to experience sexual violence than the average non-Indigenous woman. Indigenous people are more often ignored or harmed by police when reporting sexual and gender-based violence and face higher rates of re-victimization after surviving violence. Indigenous people’s experiences of sexual violence are compounded by experiences of systemic violence that is the legacy of colonialism and the result of continued racism and cultural genocide.
As a planning committee, we recognize that the appropriation of this event in York Region was colonial and unjust; we aim to make steps towards reconcilation and centre Indigenous voices in our events.
For more information on the general history of Take Back the Night, check out the Take Back the Night Foundation website.