Reflection of Purple Ribbon Day by Joey Chen, high school student

December 4, 2015

Today I attended a remembrance ceremony held by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. It is truly moving in a sense that it tells of the reality of how women were and still are being treated in our society today. It doesn’t look pretty, I’ll be honest. Many women, especially Native women, were either missing or murdered, but there’s practically no public outcry for such atrocities being committed. Support for these wrecked people fell on small non-profits who’d had to scurry to make ends meets, especially after the government’s budget cuts for the past years. Many were understaffed, underpaid, and overworked. Investigation and support for this matter must be instituted immediately, and I hope that as I find out more, I’ll be able to help lend my voice to support them.

Below is a poem I wrote for my school newspaper, commemorating the event and paying respect to those women who have lost their lives.

Joey Chen
International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
Charlottetown Rural High School
December 2015




The soft clanging of jingles,
Vibrated softly against each other,
A silent cacophony of rhythm,
piercing the shrouds of silence
that covered the cruel violence.

The dress was blue, with metallic cones made
From tobacco cans, representing each day.
With wide swings healing came,
Rise of the wind, the candle flames swayed.

She turned from side to side
Paying tributes with a silent cry.
Tears fell from her cheeks
As she hugged visitors with a sigh.

An archaic language that we all speak
A voice of incomprehensible grief
Of women’s worth, in society’s eyes.
And of atrocities, in plain sight.

Deep in our hearts we knew
Rules must change, and must be now.
We have stood too long, in silence
Over the violence, and the hopeless cries

So let our voices made known,
Lend it to those who’d fallen
For candles were lit, not because they died
But of their refusal, to cease living.

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