BY NICK SNOW
Sheridan’s Centre for Indigenous Learning and Spport, along with Oakville Community Foundation, hosted an event last week which addressed murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.
The event was based on different stories and displaying as much information as they could through different speakers to show all sides of the crisis.
Since March 31, 2010 NWAC (Native Women’s Association of Canada), 582 indigenous women and girls are missing or murdered.
Sheridan’s Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support is trying to bring awareness to this issue.
Elijah Williams, Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator at Sheridan, says his main goal for the event is “to have a conversation about missing and murdered women,” and wants people to know “this is for non-indigenous people and to bring awareness to what’s happening in our own backyard.”
Great turn out at @sheridancollege for the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, so proud of sheridan for having this event
— Nick Snow (@NickLGSnow) October 4, 2017
Lorraine Green who has worked with Sheridan’s Indigenous programs was asking for signatures for a petition, asking the Government of Canada to actually force police to have a record for missing indigenous women and girls.
This petition is important for indigenous communities that now have a deep mistrust in law enforcement. In June a submission to the Government of Canada from the Human Rights Watch reported that in Saskatchewan their have been multiple accounts of police neglect, physical assault, and sexual harassment since they began their investigation last year.
The red dress is symbolism for the missing and murdered indigenous women and is to help bring awareness that neither the General Social Survey or Statistics Canada Homicide Survey collects data on the disappearances.
Green was also part of the group that had raised red dresses on streets around Oakville. “Lakeshore and Kerr had the more beautiful red dresses as they blew in the wind.”
The event explained that all of Sheridan’s campuses are built on Indigenous land and that Oct. 4 is a day for Indigenous women and girls and when red dresses are hung all around Canada. They continued by providing facts to help explain why the event is so important, facts like Indigenous women are seven times more likely to be murdered than anyone else in Canada.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 4, 2017
The event also included Keith Barker, who has worked in professional theatre for 16 years, who performed a play called The Hours That Remain, a story of loss and hope that moved most of the audience.