Sisters in Spirit Vigils

Honouring the Indigenous Women and Girls Who Have Gone Missing and Those Murdered

Calgary, October 4, 2023

On October 4, vigils and other events were held in Quebec and across Canada to honour the memory of the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The vigils have been held since 2006, organized by the Native Women's Association of Canada along with local organizations.

Squamish, October 4, 2023

This year vigils were held in the National Capital Region, Montreal, Thunder Bay, North Bay, Nipissing, Kingston, Oshawa, Toronto, St. Catharines, Windsor, Regina, La Ronge, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Lethridge, Oliver, Squamish, Vancouver and Dawson City as well as other locations.

The vigils support grieving families and provide opportunities for healing; and aim to be a movement for social change, united in the demand for action on an issue that affects us all, the Native Women's Association of Canada states in organizing material for the events.

The numbers of those missing and murdered is a damning indictment of the government's refusal to act. The disappearances and deaths continue at an alarming rate while the state refuses to investigate these cases and bring those responsible to justice, not infrequently dismissing suspicious deaths as suicides or accidents, and missing women as having run away and "not wanting to be found." This is to say nothing of the fact that in not a few cases the police, and other state agents, themselves are implicated in racist violence against Indigenous women and girls which they carry out with impunity. Little has been done either to implement the 231 calls for justice put forward in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The stalling of the federal government on the demand -- which has gained broad support across the country -- to search the landfills for the remains of at least three murdered Winnipeg Indigenous women this year is front of mind and is still more evidence that for all the governments' expressions of concern, Indigenous women and girls are considered as disposable.










(Photos: TML, A. Woo, My Sea to Sky, Iskwea, C. Ainsworth, Anishinabek Nation, Bullfrong, Austin Photo, L. Beebe)

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 9 - October 2023

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