Sisters in Spirit vigil in Sudbury honours missing, murdered Indigenous women and girls
Drum circle and march hosted by N'Swakamok Native Friendship Centre and Greater Sudbury Police
A large crowd took the streets of Sudbury Wednesday to honour and remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
More than 60 people gathered for the 6th annual Sisters in Spirit vigil, held in the downtown of the northern Ontario city.
Every year on Oct. 4, the Native Women's Association of Canada holds the Sisters in Spirit Vigil. Communities across the country gather for prayers, rallies and community feasts.
The Sudbury event was hosted by the N'Swakamok Native Friendship Centre and Greater Sudbury Police Services.
"If it's an ongoing thing, which it is, it should also be acknowledged as an act of internal terrorism because really that's ... terrorizing those women and children who are afraid to go out, afraid to do certain things that they should not normally be afraid to do," says Robinson.
"I want to stand beside those who are trying to change their lives and maybe change the relationships that they're in and the dynamics of those relationship by caring and love, instead of violence and hate."
The personal stories really hit home says Lisa Osawamick, the Aboriginal violence prevention coordinator with Sudbury police.
Eladia Smoke was at the vigil because there are lots of strong women in her family.
"I'm here on behalf of the women who are doing such incredible work in our community still, but also remembering the women who have walked on — not by their choice — and honouring their spirit as well."
She says it was great to see so many men at the event.
"Because ultimately this isn't a woman's problem, it's a man's problem and we need our men with us. So it's great to see them at the head of the line with the eagle staffs," Smoke says.
The flag in front of the police headquarters on Brady Street was lowered to half mast to honour those Indigenous women and girls who are missing or have been murdered.
The City of Greater Sudbury has officially proclaimed Oct. 4 as Sisters in Spirit Day.
At the sisters in Spirit march in memory of missing and murdered indigenous women <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sudbury <a href=" https:="" t.co="" rckwqhwkn"="">pic.twitter.com/kRCKwQhwkN</a>—@RobinElizabethD
With files from Robin De Angelis