In Prince George, the CNC Student Union will be hosting a candlelight vigil from 6-9 p.m. at the CNC campus. It will open with a welcome by Kamal Bindra of the student’s union. There will be an opening prayer by Lheidli T’enneh elder Darlene McIntosh, followed by speakers Brenda Wilson and Dawn Hemingway. That will be followed by a moment of silence and a potluck dinner.
Funded by Status of Women Canada, Sisters In Spirit was a research, education and policy initiative driven and led by Aboriginal women.
The primary goal was to conduct research and raise awareness of the alarming high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. The first phase of the SIS initiative, which began in 2005, conducted ongoing research that gathered statistical information on violence against Aboriginal women. The research team had developed a sophisticated database that included more than 200 variables. SIS research proved that there are more than 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in this country.
It continues to update its database as well as track new cases every week. With this information, SIS investigated the root causes of violence against women.
The SIS team worked closely with families to ensure that their experiences as well as recommendations were well documented and, above all else, focused on restoring the memory of their loved one. The scope and breath of this work has been published along with heartfelt life stories of the women in NWAC’s “Voices of Our Sisters in Spirit: A Report to Families and Communities” 2nd edition (March 2009).
SIS shared NWAC’s objective to educate and ensure effective access to justice for families of missing Aboriginal women through awareness of police training and resources to deal with reports of all missing aboriginal women without discrimination.