Sisters in Spirit Vigil honours missing and murdered Indigenous women in Calgary
Hundreds marched in downtown Calgary to participate in theme of 'Healing Through Truth and Reconciliation'
Hundreds marched down Stephen Avenue Tuesday morning to the beat of traditional aboriginal singing and drumming, honouring the lives of Aboriginal women who have disappeared, and pushing for greater awareness of the issue.
Hundreds are marching today in Calgary for the missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Event is called Sisters in spirit <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MMIW?src=hash">#MMIW</a> <a href="https://t.co/hNPjcgi174">pic.twitter.com/hNPjcgi174</a>—@evelyneasselin
They gathered at Calgary's Olympic Plaza, where more than 1,200 pairs of empty women's, girls', and baby shoes were laid out — one pair for each of the estimated missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The march and art installation are part of Calgary's 12th annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil, just one of roughly 200 similar events to take place across Canada and internationally.
"I'm proud, and I'm thankful that all these supporters have come here today," said Aiyana Leonard La Couvee, who spearheaded the art project along with her sister Kaiya.
"This has been I think the largest we've seen, since these past few years."
Hope for the national inquiry
The theme of this year's vigil is "Healing Through Truth and Reconciliation."
Josie Nepinak, the event organizer and executive director at the Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, said the federal government's commitment to a national inquiry "moves us forward."
"I believe it will change the focus for us folks here in Calgary," she said.
"Many families will receive some justice. We will have some answers, possibly some leads and some closure," she said.
"Our 13th annual I'm hoping will be more of a celebration. A celebration that a nation has come together through this inquiry to talk about the issue, and to begin that reconciliation process that we all need."
With files from Evelyne Asselin