REGINA – Every year on October 4th Sisters in Spirit vigils are held in communities across Canada to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The Regina rally at the First Nation’s University of Canada (FNUNIV) attracted hundreds of people despite the rain.
Emotions ran high as family members of local missing and murdered women shared their stories. One of these women was Krista Shore, who’s mother Barbara was murdered on February 6, 1996. Shore attends the vigil every year, and for her it’s an opportunity to heal.
“My mother was murdered in a bad way, but I just wanted to bring some attention to all the violence and oppression my mother faced before life was taken from her,” said Krista.
The ceremony ended with a reading of all of Saskatchewan’s lost women. Jodie Woodward read a portion of the names. It was emotional for her because in 2012 she nearly became a part of the list.
She had to take a ‘compassionate leave’ as a student at FNUNIV due to depression that followed her ordeal. Now she dedicates her time to battling systemic racism.
“We’re the ones who are hurting. We’re the ones who have to face racism on a daily basis because of our skin colour,” said Woodward.
The vigil is also used as an opportunity to call on government leaders to take action and stem the tide against the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.