Missing women march on Tuesday

  • Sep. 30, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Haida Gwaiians will march to honour missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada next Tuesday. The Sisters in Spirit initiative, held every year on Oct. 4, was launched by the Native Women’s Association of Canada six years ago, says Islands Women Society outreach coordinator Nadine Jones. In 2009, 72 vigils were held nationwide. According to the numbers, the highest percentage of missing women in the country have been reported in BC. Part of the Sisters in Spirit Initiative has included work on a groundbreaking database that tracks cases about missing and murdered aboriginal women. That database now includes almost 600 cases across the country, and has been credited as the catalyst for pushing the issue into public consciousness. Ms Jones said last year islanders participated locally in the nation-wide initiative for the first time, but chose not to do a march. “We held a fire burning ceremony at the Kaay centre,” said Ms Jones. Later, some staff from the Skidegate Health Centre went to Smithers and Kispiox to attend events around the Highway of Tears. They were given a carved paddle in thanks for their support and this paddle will be carried in the Oct. 4 march. The march starts at the Skidegate Health Centre at 12 noon Tuesday. Everyone is welcome to join in and to bring signs or banners. “The more people, the more impact,” Ms Jones said.

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