Aboriginal women in 2005 came together creating the “Sisters in Spirit” initiative to draw attention to a criminal an epidemic, the alarming and increasing number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. And so on October 4th each year women, men, boys and girls gather together for the Sisters in Spirit Vigil.
The Owen Sound Ontario CA vigil open with traditional drumming.
Chief Vernon Roote of the Saugeen First Nation spoke to us of his granddaughter Maisy Odjick and the pain he has lived with since September 2008 when Maisy went missing.
Maaisy Odjick is one of over 1,181 Indigenous women and girls missing or murdered between 1980-2012, this number has increased of the intervening two years. Chief Roote asked a courageous and socially challenging question.
Where are the grandmother circles, parenting circles, where have community circles of support gone? How are we as families, communities and a nation protecting our children from predators, when our children have become prey? How are we helping our children make it through the difficult years of adolescence where they struggle to understand who they are and what they will be come?
“We live in a country that should be reasonably safe?”
Gladys Radek passed out pictures of missing and murdered women and girls. We then stood one by one and called out the name on our card.
Gladys then from the front of the room told us the woman’s story and too often it ended with “she remains missing” or “her murder remains unsolved”.
Gladys’s spoke of Tamara Chipman her beloved niece who went missing in 2005 of highway 16 in northern British Columbia, a stretch of highway that has been named The Highway of Tears because of the number of Aboriginal women and girls that have been murdered or gone missing on it.
An epidemic of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and children
Genocide where Indigenous people have become prey.
Take the time to visit these links, become informed and then decide what you will do next.
- Native Women's Association of Canada
- Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview
- Highway of Tears