Honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2-Spirit people
Vaughan’s Sisters in Spirit Vigil is on Oct. 4
The City of Vaughan has proclaimed Oct. 4 Sisters in Spirit Day. It is a day of somber reflection to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2-Spirit people in Canada. In commemoration of the day, the City is hosting a Sisters in Spirit Vigil on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the courtyard outside Vaughan City Hall (2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.).
The outdoor public vigil will be led by Edebwed Ogichidaa Kwe, meaning “she who speaks the truth” (also known as Elder Valarie King), from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. She will speak about the history of the day, educate attendees on its significance and share how residents can take meaningful action.
The focus of this event is to provide space to acknowledge and remember missing and murdered Indigenous peoples, support grieving families and offer opportunities for healing and raising awareness.
Community members of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to attend. Please dress according to weather conditions. And in the case of inclement weather, the vigil will take place inside City Hall.
This Sisters in Spirit Vigil is part of the City’s annual Culture Days – a free, national event bringing the community together to honour diversity, artistic and cultural endeavours and the spirit of togetherness.
Learn more about Sisters in Spirit Day on the City’s Indigenous relations and reconciliation webpage.
About Sisters in Spirit Day
Everyone has the right to be safe and free from violence. Since the onset of colonialism, Indigenous women have faced life-threatening, gender-based violence and disproportionately experience violent crimes because of hatred and racism. For years, First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities have called attention to the alarming number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada. On Oct. 4, 2006, the first Sisters in Spirit Vigil was organized in collaboration with the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Amnesty International Canada and KAIROS Canada. Sisters in Spirit has since become an annual day for remembrance and awareness. To learn more, visit the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
About National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day
Sept. 30 is recognized annually as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. It is a day of sombre reflection for settlers and survivors, and a reminder of the need for ongoing education and work towards the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (PDF). The day also honours survivors, their families, and First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. In commemoration, people are encouraged to wear orange shirts to recognize the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, as well as honour the healing journeys of the survivors and their families. It is a call to action to foster a city, province and nation where every child matters.
Attend Vaughan Public Libraries’ ‘Every Child Matters’ Crosswalks unveiling
To honour the children who never returned home and the Survivors of residential schools as well as their families and communities, Vaughan Public Libraries (VPL) will be unveiling two ‘Every Child Matters’ crosswalks outside the Civic Centre Resource Library (2191 Major MacKenzie Dr.). on Friday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. Members from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation will be at the event, and community members of all ages are also invited to attend. For more information, visit VPL’s Every Child Matters crosswalk webpage.