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By Amanda Wheatley
On Oct. 4, 2016 the Ontario Native Women’s Association, Dryden Native Friendship Centre and numerous community partners gathered to remember and to raise awareness of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls across Canada.
The Sisters in Spirit campaign was launched in March 2004 with the goal of conducting research and raising public awareness of the high rates of violence against Aboriginal Women in Canada. With some gains, including the announcement of the Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, it is important for community members to continue to advocate and to encourage various levels of governments to address this very real issue.
Various community members shared their experiences and other stories were read out to remind us that these women were mothers, daughters, sisters and cousins. They were important and were loved by many people.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada has created the Sisters in Spirit Initiative which provides a number of education and communication activities to build positive relationships and increase public understanding of the circumstances surrounding missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. More information and current statistics can be found at www.nwac-hq.org.