Every year on October 4th, family members, Indigenous communities and supports gather across Canada to honour the women, girls and families who have been impacted by violence. These annual vigils are a time for friends, family, community members and supports to come together, remember and reflect on their healing journeys. The first vigil was held on Parliament Hill in 2006 coinciding with the release of Amnesty International’s Stolen Sisters report. Since then, vigils have spread across the country and are now held coast-to-coast-to-coast.
For many years Friendship Centres have participated in hosting Sisters in Spirit Vigils. The Friendship Centre Movement is vital to many communities across Canada. It is important to continue supporting each other in a visible and accessible way, something that Friendship Centres practice every day. Last year 34 Friendship Centres across Canada hosted Sisters in Spirit Vigils.
For more information on hosting vigils or to find a vigil taking place near you please visit NWAC’s website here.
“Sisters in Spirit” is the name of a Native Women’s Association of Canada initiative that began in 2005 and had the goal of researching and raising awareness about the high rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. The initiative was funded by Status of Women Canada until 2010.
The 13thannual event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario will begin at 11am on October 4.