Sisters in Spirit honours the memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Every October 4, vigils and events are held across the country in support of family members and loved ones. Peace River has been hosting Sister in Spirit Vigils since 2004 to bring awareness to the tragedy and injustice. This year in 2020 due to the global pandemic of covid-19, we will host a virtual walk encouraging the community to walk in support on their own to keep our community safe. Please register HERE, post a selfie with hashtags, #SistersInSpirit2020 #SIS2020 #MMIWG2S. You can pick up a tobacco tie at the Peace River Museum Archives and Mackenzie Centre between September 27 – October 3, 2020 from 10:00 am -4:00 pm.
We are speaking out, as individuals and organizations, because we believe this violence should be of urgent concern to everyone in Canada. More than that, this concern must lead to action—action to ensure that the rights and safety of Aboriginal sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers are respected and protected.
The violence experienced by Indigenous Women & Girls in Canada is a national tragedy. The disappearance and murder of our Indigenous Sisters is felt nationwide, with countless First Nations, Inuit, Metis families and communities grappling with the loss of a loved one and struggling to find answers. In 2016, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was launched as a key government initiative to end the disproportionally high levels of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls. The Inquiry was also the Government of Canada’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #41.
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls presented its Final Report to families, survivors, Indigenous leaders, as well as federal, provincial and territorial governments at a televised closing ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, on June 3, 2019. At this event, the Prime Minister stressed the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing this issue.
The Government of Canada welcomes the release of the Final Report and is committed to ending the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people, and to help prevent and eliminate violence against them in future generations. It is an integral part of the Government’s commitment to reconciliation.
The Inquiry’s Final Report is far-reaching and deals with many underlying systemic issues. Its recommendations, directed towards multiple levels of government and various stakeholders, will help identify the Government of Canada’s next steps in preventing the systemic violence that has resulted in this national tragedy.
The recommendations require careful consideration and examination in order for the Government of Canada to establish a holistic and effective path forward that will empower Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people. As next steps, the Government of Canada will be reviewing and bring forward a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and Two Spirit people.
Every Albertan should play a role in advancing the calls to justice that came out of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, says the inquiry’s former chief commissioner, Marion Buller. “That really comes down to speaking out against sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, and holding governments to account,” said Buller, in an interview with CBC.