Sisters in Spirit Candlelight Vigil

Submitted by: Rochelle Ethier, MNO Credit River Metis Council

Brampton Vigil group
Participants of the Brampton Sisters in Spirit
Candlelight Vigil holding up the faceless doll blanket.

The Annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil was held on October 4 to honour and remember the almost 1,200 missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada.

In Brampton, the vigil was a collaborative event held by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), the MNO Credit River Métis Council, the Mississauga Halton and Central West Local Health Integration Networks, Family Services of Peel, the Peel Aboriginal Network and the Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse.

The vigil helps raise awareness of the ongoing issue as well as help families who have lost a loved one find peace.

The vigil opened with a few words from Sharon McBride, MNO Vice Chair, who served as the master of ceremonies for the event. This was followed by a heart felt prayer provided from MNO Senator Ray Bergie.

Brampton Vigil
The Sisters in Spirit Candlelight Vigil held in Brampton
on October 4.

Many speakers attended to advocate for Aboriginal women and their struggles. These included MPP Brampton-Springdale Harinder Malhi; Constable Carley Gervais, a MNO citizen; MPP Mississauga-Brampton South, Amrit Mandat; MP Mississauga-Streetsville, Brad Butt; and the Honourable David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Others in attendance were Chief of Peel Police Jennifer Evans; Regional Councilor for the City of Brampton, John Sanders, and over 70 members of the Brampton, Mississauga, and Halton communities.

The missing or murdered Aboriginal women were honoured with traditional songs from Aqua and Talitha, the drumming of PAN, and fiddling from Alicia Blore.  Many community volunteers also helped to make 100 faceless dolls to bring attention to the need for a public inquiry. The vigil concluded with members of the community lighting their candles while saying final prayers and placing them with the victims’ photos.

The MNO has submitted a letter asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to work collaboratively to end violence against Aboriginal women. To find out more visit the MNO website at www.metisnation.org

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