Recognizing Women October 2023

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During October we honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, support grieving families, and create opportunities for healing. Before the Native Women’s Association of Canada discontinued the work on their database in 2010 it had reported close to 600 indigenous women and girls gone missing or murdered in the country over the preceding 30 years. The violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada is a genocide.

Please read more on our blog

Treaty Day – October 1, 2023

Treaty Day, held annually on October 1st, marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia, as proclaimed in 1993 by Premier John Savage and Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy.

The purpose of Treaty Day is to promote public awareness about the Mi’kmaw culture and heritage for all Nova Scotians.

International Day of Non-violence – October 2, 2023

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

Sisters in Spirit – October 4, 2023

October 4th is a day when we honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, support grieving families, and create opportunities for healing. The violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada is a genocide.

 The Sisters in Spirit initiative was a program led by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) seeking to document the statistics of violence against Indigenous women in Canada and heighten awareness and education.

Thanksgiving – October 9, 2023

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual Canadian holiday and harvest festival, held on the second Monday in October, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year.

While Americans and Canadians both celebrate Thanksgiving Day, there are several differences between the traditions and practices in the two neighbouring countries. Rediscover the hidden gems and backyard wonders of the Halifax region in Nova Scotia during the Thanksgiving Weekend here.

International Mental Health Day – October 10, 2023

The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

Started in 1992, this day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. 

During the 2022 celebration, global community focused on the theme, “Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority” in accordance to the COVID-19 effects on people’s mental health. 

International Day of the Girl – October 11, 2023

The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day – October 15, 2023

Each year thousands of families across Canada mourn the death of their babies. In 1988, United States of America President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in that year. In 2017 Bill 38 passed the Nova Scotia legislature unanimously to declare October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Find out how you can be involved!

Rural Women Day – October 15, 2023

This International Day of Rural Women offers us a renewed opportunity to commit to a different way of organizing our world, to build on the vision of the Feminist Plan and on the outcomes and multistakeholder commitments of the recent United Nations Food System Summit, so that rural women benefit equally from their productivity, with good food enjoyed by all.

International Day to Eradicate Poverty – October 17, 2023

This Day honors the millions of people suffering from poverty and their daily courage and recognizes the essential global solidarity and shared responsibility we hold to eradicate poverty and combat all forms of discrimination. According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia has the second-highest rate of family and child poverty in the country. In 2016, nearly one in five children in the province lived in poverty, which has remained unchanged for the past decade.

Person’s Day – October 18, 2023

October 18 is Persons Day in Canada. It marks the day in 1929 when the historic decision to include women in the legal definition of “persons” was handed down by Canada’s highest court of appeal. This gave some women the right to be appointed to the Senate of Canada and paved the way for women’s increased participation in public and political life. Here is a guide for celebrating the achievements of Canadian Women.

Mi’kmaq History Month – Whole month of October 2023

In an effort to assist all Nova Scotians in increasing their knowledge and awareness of Mi’kmaw culture, history and heritage, a Mi’kmaq History Month Committee was established to promote and encourage educational and cultural activities during the month of October. For more information visit the Mi’kmaq History Month Committee’s website

Women’s History Month – Whole month of October 2023

The Nova Scotia Women’s History Society (NSWHS) researches and makes known the untold story of the remarkable contributions that women have made to the history of Nova Scotia. This October, in celebration of Women’s History Month, we pay tribute to all the girls and women who have and continue to forge new paths ahead. Stories can be shared through @StatusofWomenNS or by emailing

Breast Cancer Awareness – Whole month of October 2023

Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment. Information about breast density is an important part of breast cancer screening and ensuring early detection and treatment. Check out signs/symptoms and learn about treatment for breast cancer from the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. You may also show your support through donating to the Canadian Cancer Society here.

Mental Illness Awareness Week – October 1-7, 2023

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.