NWAC hosts virtual vigil for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

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Today, the Native Women’s Association in Canada will be hosting a virtual vigil, “Sisters in Spirit” in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people.

(NWAC/Twitter)

Sisters in Spirit virtual vigil

October 4 is a day to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people. The Sister in Spirit vigil is to show support to the grieving families and heal.

“United, we will demand action on an issue that impacts us all,” says the website.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be hosted virtually through a Facebook live stream. At the time this article is being written, Facebook is going through technical difficulties and the vigil has been postponed for a few hours. More updates about the new time can be found on NWAC’S Twitter.

Missing and murdered Indigenous women statistics

According to a report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2014, 1,017 Indigenous women and girls have been murdered between 1980 and 2012. The report also indicates these numbers are likely underestimated.

CBC News article mentions this statistic has not changed since the mandate inquiry in 2016 that aimed to investigate the causes of this issue. 

The Assembly of First Nations website indicates that although Indigenous people cover 4.3 per cent of the population in Canada, Indigenous women make up 16 per cent of all female homicide victims and 11 per cent of missing women. 

Ways to support Sisters in Spirit

People that would like to support Sisters in Spirit, honour the victims and help the affected families can register their own community vigil/event to receive a Vigil Kit, light a candle in a window, change their social media avatar with a Sisters in Spirit frame, download and print heart images with strength messages, share pictures of the vigil online, etc.

Those interested in reading the final report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls can do so here.