There is an epidemic of violence against Indigenous women, Two Spirit and gender diverse people that is unacceptable. There is an epidemic of violence that is taking our loved ones from us.
Ottawa (10 Sept. 2018) — The Native Women’s Association of Canada is pleased to announce the 13th annual Sisters In Spirit Vigils coming this October 4. The violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls in Canada is a national tragedy.
United front supporting those who have lost loved ones; united front fighting for action and change
Each year, family members, Indigenous community members, and supporters gather on October 4 on Parliament Hill and across the country. People gather to honour the women and girls and their families who have been impacted by violence. It is a demonstration of a united front. There is an epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls, Two Spirit, and gender diverse people that is unacceptable.
The vigils are powerful movements of social change with the number of vigils growing from 11 in 2006 to an impressive 212 vigils in 2017.
On this day, people link arms across Canada and throughout the world to show solidarity, demand action and change, and to provide support to each other.
What you can do in your community
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) encourages its members across the country to get involved and support vigils in their community.
Vigils can take a variety of forms. They can be large or small in scale, and every single one is of great value. Some examples include moments of silence or candlelight vigils, which can create spaces for honouring the missing and murdered women and girls and opportunities for healing for families. Rallies or marches are powerful ways of raising public awareness and calling for legislative change.
All initiatives that support this goal are important. To register your vigil on or around October 4, please return the registration form by September 5. Registered vigils will receive a kit that includes items that can be used at your vigil, speaking notes that can support your vigil, and an activity that you may choose to participate in.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) produced a resource guide to help friends and supporters safely and responsibly raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The NWAC Community Resource Guide has fact sheets on MMIWG and the causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls, and gives organizers useful tools for holding a successful SIS Vigil. On page 15, and throughout the guide, you will have the information you need to best deliver the important messages of this community-based project.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE