Kainai Remembers and Honours Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Kainai Remembers and Honours MMIWG
May 5, 2013 Standoff, Alberta – Today is Red Dress Day and marks Missing and Murdered Women, Girls and Two-Spirited peoples, including those lost from our own Nation. About 500 people gatheredat the Red Crow Park to participate in the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG2S, as Canada marks Red Dress Day and Indigenous leaders continue the urgent call to warn about the ‘crisis.’
The Director of the Blood Tribe Department of Health’s Wellness Centre says it’s clear there’s an ongoing emergency nearly four years after the final report into missing and murdered Indigenous woman and girls was released and the fourth year the centre honoured the spirits of those lost tothe MMIWG crisis, in support of the survivors and families that still live with the trauma.“
This is the fourth year that we have organized the event specifically on May 5th and we include men and boys and the LGBTQ community. It’s the continuation of previous education, intervention and supports that we want to provide for Blood Tribe members who have lost a loved one to violence and those who have not yet found their loved one,” says Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox. “It’s important to face the colonial and Indian Residential School legacies, both dark chapters in First Nations communities. We all have a responsibility to end this crisis and create safety for all Indigenous women and girls.”
Red dresses were on display at the awareness gathering at Red Crow Park as the empty garments serve as a symbol of lives lost. The MMIWG Inquiry’s final report was released in 2019 and included sweeping calls for change. It found Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than any other group in Canada. Prime Minister JustinTrudeau accepted the findings of the inquiry, which said the crisis amounted to genocide. Sixty three per cent of Indigenous women have experienced violence and nearly half have experienced sexual assault, according to Statistics Canada in a report last year.“
We’ll continue to heal and the ongoing efforts and supports that the BTDH Wellness program provides along with collaborations, partners and other program areas is a pathway to ensure the‘action’ part of truth and reconciliation is realized. That is integral to healing and to foster relationships that are meaningful to all partners but as well our members,” says Dr. Fox. “We want to continue to address the grief and loss, and the ongoing healing and letting go of colonial layers toward healthy communities. It was really important to have all the collaborations and the turnout was amazing! We continue to stand in solidarity across the nation but also continue to support our Blood Tribe members. We will continue with prayer and we opened today’s event with a sunrise ceremony to start the day. We start our program with prayer and we close with prayer, so returning and practicing our ancient ways is intact. And we will continue to do this each and every day!”
Today’s celebration also featured heart-felt speeches – food for thought – and nourishment, as a hearty meal was followed by saskatoon soup and fried bread, while drums pounded to the beat of one heart through song and dance. “It was a beautiful day as dancers came out into a circle with honour and praise songs. I just want to acknowledge our partners and the wellness program staff who did anamazing job. We also continue to support our day treatment program clients as a dozen volunteered to assist and this will help in their sobriety, helping others and knowing what connection is. I am so grateful to the Elders and knowledge keepers. It was a well-organized team effort to ensure that everything went well and having the community coming out was a true testament of how healing andchange is possible.”
(Story and photo credit: Brent Scout CO BTDH)
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