Every one of them has a story. Every one of them has a name. Hundreds gathered Thursday for the annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil to humanize the 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada.
“Her name was Lindsay Jackson.”
Ellen Brighteyes came to the vigil in honour of her friend Lindsay Jackson.
The young woman was reported missing less than two weeks ago. The same day of the ceremony, Brighteyes she learned her friend’s body was found.
“She was murdered. She was found in the river.
“I’m still in shock and I’ve got to hold myself together to honour her memory,” Brighteyes said.
“She’s going to be on that missing and murdered list. It’s too much. We need to help each other instead of hurting each other.”
This vigil is intended to be a place of healing. The pain is so raw for so many.
Stephanie English’s daughter Joey lost her life in 2016. Part of her remains were tossed away like garbage. Her mother is pleading with authorities to find her.
“I drive by Peigan Trail and look at that landfill and I know she’s there but I know she’ll come home soon,” English said through tears.
Vigil organizer Chantal Chagnon hopes their collective voice will compel authorities and all levels of government to take action and bring a measure of peace to those suffering.
“We talk not only about statistics, but stories, because of those individual spirits who left their mark — and there’s a big hole left, nothing we can do to bring that life back — and share that story and hope for justice.”