Oct. 4 marks Sisters in Spirit Day, an annual initiative across the country to remember and honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
In Alberta, calls for justice were loud as people walked and gathered to have their voices heard.
“We’re walking from Maskwacis to Wetaskiwin to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women,” Chevi Rabbit, organizer of the Wetaskiwin Sisters in Spirit walk, said.
Read more: Sisters in Spirit vigil held in Edmonton
“This event is to really bring attention to the injustices that continue to happen but it’s also to give hope to those families that we have not forgotten,” organizer Chantal Chagon said.
The Calgary event, with the theme “reclaiming power and place,” featured drumming, a march along Stephen Avenue to the city hall plaza and speeches from families who have lost loved ones.
It’s about bringing attention to more safety and justice, recognizing human rights and ensuring action is taken on the national inquiry.
“Unfortunately, the government has really stalled, kind of dragging its feet, and so we’re hoping events like this that we do yearly will stir them to action,” Chagon said.
Although these events were held in different places, the message and calls for justice are aligned.
The federal government said work is underway to co-develop the national action plan with Indigenous governments and organizations, and federal, provincial and territorial governments.
“Provincially, I’m leading that along… to move forward some of the things in the report so that we can put an end to what’s happening with missing murdered Indigenous women,” Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson said.
It’s work that can’t come soon enough for people wanting change.
“These walks are amazing. They create a visual for the public but we need more than that. We need people to walk their talk now,” Rabbit said.
– With files from Global News’ Kaylen Small