If you are looking to ring in the new year in a way that honours Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women, head to Portage Avenue at Main Street at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
- Tina Fontaine's death focuses attention on missing, murdered aboriginal women
- Faceless dolls bring awareness to missing, murdered aboriginal women
- Government now open to roundtable on missing and murdered aboriginal women
There, you will find the Idle No More community holding the third annual New Year's Eve round dance.
The dance is a unity vigil to remember the nearly 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada, including Tina Fontaine, 15, who was found in the Red River, Claudette Osborne, whose family has seen the anniversary of her disappearance pass six times since she went missing in July 2008, Evelyn Stewart, who died at age 25 in 1998 and whose murder has not been solved.
Event organizer Michael Kannon is encouraging everyone to attend, regardless of race.
"We are all part of community, we're all down here together on the streets and it's something that we all have to do together," he said. "It's all women are at risk, especially our indigenous women."
Cannon believes tragedies this year like that involving Fontaine and the assault of Rinelle Harper have helped put the spotlight on indigenous issues in Canada.
Leah Gazan, president of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg has also helped organize events to highlight missing and murdered women.
"People are concerned about violence against indigenous women and girls," Gazan said, adding what happened to Tina Fontaine was a tipping point. And she said, through tragedy, is growing solidarity.
"I think its growing its unstoppable, the United Nations is calling this a crisis, Amnesty International is calling this a crisis," she said.
The federal government's reaction to missing and murdered indigenous women made headlines after Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared the issue one of crime rather than a sociological phenomenon.
Wednesday evening's vigil is the last in Winnipeg of many that took place over 2014, and public displays of support for the safety of indigenous women are likely to continue into 2015 as the voices of Canadian victims and politicians join the call for a national inquiry.