Standoff – COVID-19 Safe Events will be held on the Blood Reserve on May 5 and 8, 2021 to commemorate and honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Men and Boys, and LGBTQ2SI members from the Blood Tribe. This event is in solidarity with other local, municipal, provincial and national projects.
Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people are holders of inherent Indigenous rights, constitutional rights, and international and domestic human rights. In addition, many Indigenous Peoples in Canada are rights holders under various Treaties, land claims, and settlement agreements. We must honour their names and spirits.
Each year, REDress Campaigns, throughout Canada, promote various events in solidarity for purposes of creating awareness, demanding justice, and honouring the legacies of the lives’ that were murdered or are still missing. This event is being planned and coordinated by the Blood Tribe Department of Health (BTDH) Wellness Program and will be held in Standoff, at the Red Crow Park. The focus of the project is to remember, honour and celebrate those who have been murdered or who have gone missing. Their lives mattered; they had a purpose.
Activities include a COVID-19 Safe Walk, from Wellness Building to Red Crow Park in Standoff at 10:00am on May 5, 2021. The walk will start with a prayer by elders Keith Chief Moon and Roger Prairie Chicken, and an honour song by Sheldon Day Chief, as staff from BTDH, Board of Directors, Blood Tribe Police walk to Red Crow Park to increase awareness and pay tribute to our MMIP from the Blood Tribe. Red garments will be hung at Red Crow Park, along with an MMIWG banner and posters to ignite the urgency for change increase publicity of the devastating statistics. The event will wrap up at 2:00pm.
The May 8, 2021 event will start at 9:00am, and will include the families, invited elders and drummers, and staff of BTDH walking from the four directions on the main highways to Red Crow Park. This is in part and parcel to heal the land along with help heal our members’ spirits affected by colonial policies, practices and foreign tactics to eradicate the “Indian in the child”. The families who are directly affected will carry MMIWG banners and there will be a hand drummer to sing honour songs along the commemorative walk. There will be a sacred fire burning at Red Crow Park throughout the day, and fire keepers will tend to it. There will be RED garments—skirts, shirts, and dresses, in addition to photos and other family tributes that each family has made for their loved one on display as a “walk-through” at the centre arbour. Further, there will be quotes and names visible as you continue to walk the MMIWG Red Garment and Tribute display. The day will include a prayer by elder Keith Chief Moon in conjunction with starting the sacred fire, a viewing of the red garments, receiving a t-shirt and a pre-packaged meal as you exit. Other staff on hand will be Dana
Wells-Durocher, who previously worked with the National Inquiry – Calls for Justice, Scott Fox, who works with the IRS Support Program, along with several other esteemed Wellness Program staff.
In order to heal from the lifelong impacts of historical and intergenerational experiences, these events shed light on the lingering effects of colonialism, in addition to providing awareness and a safe outlet whereby family, friends and the community may begin to unite for the continued healing of all members through prayer and connection. Events such as this, aid in the promotion of individual and collective healing and strength. Further initiatives to remember, celebrate and create change include billboards, a mural, a commemorative monument, and print documents that hi-light MMIWG, MB, AND LGBTQ2SI names and personal histories, in addition to sharing traditional Siksikaitsitapi teachings.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Dana Wells-Durocher, Wellness Program, MMIWG & IRS Worker
Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox, Wellness Program, Director