The event celebrates, honours, and remembers Indigenous women and girls who have been victims of violence.
Thanks to Darlene Peters-Copeland for organizing this as well as to the Acadia students who helped out.
As described by the final report of the commission of inquiry, the deaths of more than a thousand Indigenous women and girls in Canada is the result of long-standing discrimination against indigenous people (and women in particular) and our collective failure to protect them. The report concluded that the murders constituted a national genocide.
As a candidate in this year’s federal election I am fully committed to publicly supporting the recommendations of the commission and the creation of a national action plan to prevent and address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons.
I also want to respond to the recommendations by the commission that urges everyone to become allies in the fight against violence toward (Indigenous) women, to combat racism, and to break down barriers.
CBC News asked a number of Indigenous leaders to weigh in on how every person can contribute.
Here are my commitments, based what Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie from Sagkeeng First Nation had to say:
Be part of the community - I will listen to and support Indigenous women; I will believe what they tell me! I will make sure the issue of violence against Indigenous women and the findings & recommendations of the commission are discussed as part of the campaign.
Read, listen, learn - I will read the entire report of the commission and do what I can as a Canadian, political candidate (and M.P.) to help implement the recommendations. I will educate myself on the different Indigenous cultures and first nations to understand their history before and after colonization, to understand issues affecting first nations, Indigenous people, and Indigenous women and girls in particular; and learn more about role of residential schools in the cultural genocide aimed at Indigenous peoples and the lasting impact it has had on them.
Take responsibility - I will take responsibility for the violence against indigenous women and help them overcome historical and contemporary injustices.
Become an upstander - I will stand up and confront racism and violence against Indigenous women; I will not turn a blind eye to the injustice; I will not ignore racist sentiments or jokes.