Events in Winnipeg to honour the spirits of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people included an opening ceremony with the lighting of a sacred fire and an honour song outside city hall Monday morning.
Oct. 4 marks Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited People’s Honouring and Awareness Day in Manitoba.
It’s a day of remembrance for the hundreds of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people missing or murdered throughout Canada.
About 30 people attended the morning ceremony, including some city councillors and police officers who offered tobacco during the ceremony.
Several red dresses have been hung around the city call courtyard at 510 Main St., where the ceremony took place. The dresses will hang for 30 days.
Red dresses have been used to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and call attention to the problem for years. This movement was started by artist Jaime Black, who created The REDress Project in Winnipeg in 2010.
Carolyn Moar, a knowledge keeper from Sagkeeng First Nation, says the red dress is a reminder that these women and girls were loved and are missed by their communities.
“They were still part of our community, they were still strong Indigenous women, and they were needed,” she said.
Moar says this day should inspire others to remember MMIWG2S year round.
“One day a year is a beautiful idea to remember but we should be keeping these women, girls and two-spirit in our hearts always,” she said.
A vigil is planned at 6:45 p.m. at the Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks. There are also walks being organized by the Bear Clan Patrol and Sisters in Spirt Manitoba.
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