Fill the Hill on 4 Oct: Show Indigenous women are loved & valued!

The Families of Sisters in Spirit National Vigil is Thursday October 4th, 6:15pm, on Parliament Hill (Unceded Algonquin Territory).

In Canada, Indigenous women are at a greater risk of violence than non-Indigenous women. Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) is a volunteer, grassroots, non-profit organization led by families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

This annual event is an opportunity for everyone to show that the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women is unacceptable and must stop. We want to Fill the Hill to show Indigenous women are loved and valued!

What you can do:

  1. Join us to Fill the Hill on 4 Oct, 6:15pm – 7:15pm!
  2. Share this page, and share the video about the Oct 4 Vigil: http://youtu.be/wnjuImXPn0o. If you are on Facebook, invite your friends.
  3. FSIS is fundraising to bring the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women to the Hill to speak their stories. Please give generously to help support these courageous family members: http://familiesofsistersinspirit.com

Meegwetch! (Thank You!),
Families of Sisters in Spirit
– email us at: familiesofsistersinspirit@gmail.com
– connect with us on Facebook through the Families of Sisters in Spirit page

PS – If you cannot join us for the Vigil in Ottawa, please note there will be 111 Vigils across Canada, find or start one near you! www.nwac.ca/programs/2012-vigil-locations

PPS -The 34th annual Take Back the Night March will leave from the Hill immediately after the Vigil at approx. 7:30 pm.


Note: the Native Women’s Association of Canada is organizing two events prior to the 6:15pm vigil on the same day:

  • Rally at Parliament Hill at 12 PM noon where Aboriginal leaders and politicians will come forward and demand action.
  • At 5 PM a Community Feast is being held at St. Andrew’s Church to share a meal at 82 Kent Street. At 5:45 PM those gathered at the feast will make their way to Parliament Hill in a Candlelight March to the 6:15PM Vigil.

Families of Sisters in Spirit National Vigil – 6:15 PM, Parliament Hill:

  • National Chief Shawn Atleo
  • NWAC President Michele Taina Audette
  • Elder Annie Smith St Georges

Drumming ~

  • Apachitwane Kicknosway (Tansi Cree)
  • Irene C
  • Tania D

Families ♥

  • Bridget Tolley ~ Daughter of Gladys Tolley
  • Gladys Radek ~ Aunt of Tamara Chipman
  • Beverley Jacobs ~ Cousin of Tashina General
  • Sue Martin ~ mother of Terri Ann Dauphinais
  • Sage Hele & Colleen Hele ~ Sister of Charmaine Hele
  • Cindy McLachlan and Lana Jackson ~ Sister of Lynn Jackson
  • Lana Jackson ~ Sister of Lynn Jackson
  • Laurie Odjick ~ Mother of Maisy Odjick
  • Caroline Mathewsie ~ mother of Shannon Alexander
  • Lita Blacksmith ~ Mother of Lorna Blacksmith
  • Doreen Morrisseau ~ Mother of Kelly Morriseau
  • Sharon Johnson ~ Sister of Sandra Kaye Johnson
  • Aileen Joseph ~ Mother of Shelley Joseph
  • Amy Miller ~ Mother of Denise Bourdeau: Jan 17/67-Jan.07.
  • Michele Pineault ~ Mother of Stephanie Lane

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Interview with Bridget Tolley and Kristen Gilchrist of Families of Sisters in Spirit:

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A Brief History of the Marginalization of Aboriginal Women in Canada: http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/community-politics/marginalization-of-aboriginal-women.html

 

Families of Sisters in Spirit: CALL FOR ARTISTS & PERFORMERS IN THE OTTAWA AREA!

Families of Sisters in Spirit, a grassroots non-profit led by families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls is seeking artists and performers who can donate their talents for the 1st Annual Families of Sisters in Spirit Fundraiser. If you would like to donate your talents please e-mail us at familiesofsistersinspirit@gmail.com,  Thank you so much in advance for your support!!

The fundraiser is on Friday April 29th, 2011 at 8 p.m. at Montgomery Legion, 359 Kent Street. Join us!

We will be serving food, raising awareness, auctioning off art, and celebrating the talents and gifts of our communities.

The 1st Annual Families of Sisters in Spirit Fundraiser will take place after a memorial vigil 6-7pm on Victoria Island, Ottawa. The vigil honours Terrie Ann Dauphinais a young Aboriginal mother of three who was murdered in her home in Calgary on April 29th, 2002.

Feb 14 – Day of Justice: Rally for Sisters in Spirit

Monday February 14, noon-1:30pm
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Algonquin Territory
(Facebook page)

Also events in Vancouver and Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal

Come out and show support for the survival of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s (NWAC) unprecedented Sisters in Spirit campaign (SIS), which, since it’s inception in 2004, has worked to raise awareness about violence against Native women and girls in Canada–namely, those who have gone missing or been murdered.

SIS not only compiled a data for over 583 cases of missing and murdered Native women in five years time, but also identified key patterns integral to understanding the systemic nature of the violence: media neglect or racial bias, police racism or negligence, victimization of Native women by the Justice system, and governmental apathy and enforcement of cycles of poverty for Native communities, to name a few. In a relatively short period of time, SIS also managed to raise the profile of the issue in the media and in the minds of the population at large, while providing indispensable support to the families of victims and creating a cross-country network.

This October 86 communities organized the 5th annual memorial Sisters in Spirit March and Vigil, including one in Nicaragua.

In spite of this progress, and the ongoing collection of new data (indeed, grassroots groups have put the number of missing and murdered women much closer to 2000), the government has held SIS in funding limbo for the past 8 months, ever since the release of Canada’s 2010 budget back in March, when $10 million was promised to “address the issue of missing and murdered Native women.” It wasn’t until November 2010 that the government finally made the announcement that confirmed the worst fears of many activists, organizers, and even opposition MPs: the money would not go to fund SIS research, but would instead fulfill the government’s new idea of safety for women, and include requirements for enhanced police power: amendments to the Criminal Code to allow police to wiretap without warrants in emergencies and obtain multiple warrants on a single application. This will not only increase the likelihood of criminalization of women, Native communities, and other vulnerable sectors of the population, but will be expected to operate without the backbone of research and data collection. Add to this the historical and ongoing relationship of distrust between many Native communities and police, who are themselves implicated in a number of documented violent altercations with Native women. Gladys Tolley, for instance, was killed by the Surete du Quebec in 2001 and no one was ever brought to justice. Her daughter Bridget Tolley has pushed for an independent investigation for years and was recently refused.

ENOUGH is ENOUGH!! We will not stand for the continued stripping down of First Nations programs essential to the physical safety and mental and emotional health of Native women and Native communities, as we have seen earlier this same year with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and First Nations University.

RALLY FOR JUSTICE on February 14th. SHOW YOUR LOVE!

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Volunteers needed!

We are looking for volunteers who would like to help out on the Hill, February 14th from noon to 1:30 pm (shorter if windchill warning in effect).

There are a number of tasks available:

– Handing out rally signs
– Handing out memorial armbands
– Being a part of our human billboard (by holding 1 of 19 letters to send a clear message to Stephen Harper)
– Helping to coordinate the human billboard on the steps of the Hill
– Taking photos/video of the event (to be posted online afterwards)

If you are interested in volunteering please email Kristen at familiesofsistersinspirit@gmail.com

In love and resistance!