The Dryden Observer

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Candlelight vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, June 29

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

By Michael Christianson

A community in need of healing is the catalyst for a candlelight vigil being held on June 29 at Cooper Park in Dryden.

The event, which starts at 7 p.m., is in honour of missing and murdered indigenous women and children; for organizer Jerri Keeash the issue is a very personal one.

“Originally this event was for my family, we had recently found out that my cousin was found in the McIntyre River, her name was Tammy Keeash, and I will forever say her name because it cannot be said enough, her name was Tammy Keeash. It was really difficult for our family to come to terms with what had happened because we hear and we see a bunch of stuff on the news about missing and murdered indigenous women but we never think it’s going to happen to us until it actually does.”

Keeash says her cousin’s death broke her grandparents heart. Wanting to do something the idea grew into the vigil.  

Sally Ledger from the Dryden Native Friendship Centre will open the candlelight vigil and they have teamed with DAARN and the Ontario Native Womens Alliance to host the event.

“We’re asking people to wear red in solidarity with the Red Dress Campaign which is to commemorate the missing and murdered indigenous women and there’s going to be placards with the faces and stories of missing and murdered women and children that we’re going to ask everyone to wear and have them with us in spirit,” said volunteer Catherine Kiewning.

Both Keeash and Kiewing were organizers of the recent Pride Day in Dryden and they are proud of their community for being supportive of socially conscious topics.

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