Regina police organize inaugural walk in support of ‘Sisters in Spirit’ vigil

Click to play video: 'Vigils mark ‘Sisters in Spirit Day’ for missing, murdered Indigenous women'
Vigils mark ‘Sisters in Spirit Day’ for missing, murdered Indigenous women
WATCH: Vigils mark 'Sisters in Spirit Day' for missing, murdered Indigenous women – Oct 4, 2021

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) started the ‘Sisters in Spirit’ program as an initiative to research and document the statistics of violence against Indigenous women in Canada.

On Oct. 4, 2006, the first ‘Sisters in Spirit’ event brought together communities to host simultaneous vigils across Canada, calling for action to address the issues affecting this marginalized community.

To honour that day, numerous community-based organizations host annual events and continue to champion their causes and support the families of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous peoples.

Many vigils this year will be held virtually thanks to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Heather Shepard, Regina Police Service cultural relations officer says “It is important that the police continue to show their support for the Indigenous community.

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The Cultural & Community Diversity Unit committee reached out to RPS Elders and they decided to organize a walk for the entire community to honour missing and murdered Indigenous peoples.”

The walk started just outside Regina police headquarters.  Participants walked along the streets of downtown Regina wearing sweaters with messages on their backs and holding framed pictures of their missing and murdered loved ones.

They also carried 41 roses tied with a purple ribbon to honour all of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls from Regina. At the end of the walk, each rose was laid on the Place of Reflection at the RCMP Heritage Centre and Elder Diane Kaiswatum offered a prayer.

Brenda Dubois who participated in the event to honour her grandmother and her cousin says “Events like this will continue to highlight that we’re here and that we are a part of this place. Individuals should not be going missing. It has to stop.”

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Going forward, Regina Police Service hope to make this walk an annual event on Oct. 4 to coincide with ‘Sisters in Spirit’ vigils. They want the entire community, not just the Indigenous members, to take part in honouring missing and murdered Indigenous people.

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Click to play video: 'Family and friends of Joey English walk to Calgary for Sisters in Spirit Vigil'
Family and friends of Joey English walk to Calgary for Sisters in Spirit Vigil

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