Several red dresses were displayed in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

VIDEO: Memorial to honour missing, murdered Indigenous women, girls, others in Williams Lake

Organizers hope it was the first of many more to come

A memorial held in Williams Lake on Friday, Feb. 14 to honour murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls, two-spirited and others was the first of many, the organizer hopes.

Crystal Rain Harry, a Xat’sull First Nation band councillor, said up until now Williams Lake has not had a space to honour families who have lost loved ones through murder or who have disappeared.

“When you look up the Highway of Tears the first name you see is Gloria Moody. She was found murdered just outside of Williams Lake off Highway 20 in 1969. Her murder has never been solved.”

Loriann Tenale and her mom Mary Tenale were wearing red hoodies with the words ‘No More Stolen Sisters’ across the front and on the back a pattern honouring their close friend, Sabrina Rosette, who died at Tl’esqox First Nation in June 2019.

“Sabrina was like my sister,” Loriann said. “Nothing has been done about her murder. We want justice.”

Read more: Toosey family planning vigil for Sabrina Rosette

Sheila Dick from 103 Mile House said she attended a vigil for Rosette at Toosey First Nation and was touched by the number of people who attended.

“I want to add my name to the list of planning these types events and hope I can do something in 100 Mile House as well,” Dick said.

Wanting to keep the memorial strictly about missing and murdered people, organizers asked anyone who showed up to respect the event’s intent as it was not a protest regarding the Coastal GasLink pipeline project, which had been the focus of rallies on Wednesday and Thursday in Williams Lake.

“How can we protect Mother Earth if we cannot protect women and children in our communities?” Dyck said. “We have to work for our women and children first.”

Williams Lake Indian Band elder Virginia Gilbert was there with her daughter Frances, drumming and singing.

Her son and Frances’s brother, Gerald Supernault’s murder in 2008 at Sugar Cane has never been solved.

Read more: VIDEO: Supernault family and RCMP make appeal to witnesses in Sugar Cane unsolved murder

“I lost a son 11 years ago, he died from alcohol and drugs,” she said. “He was a very spiritual and helpful man and as I remember him I remember all our young men.”

Maggie Ranger of Horsefly said she hung a red shirt to remember all missing and murdered women as well as Tyler Walton from Williams Lake who disappeared in November 2009.

Read more: Tyler Walton of Williams Lake still missing after nine years

When it was her turn to lead a song, Dorothy Boyd, a clan mother, introduced and led a Tsilhqot’in Warrior Song.

“These are sacred songs we sing when people are in need of help,” she said. “I am dedicating this to all the ones who have passed away before us who were murdered or haven’t been found. A few men in my family are missing.”

The murdered, Boyd said, are already being taken care of by the ancestors and the Creator.

“We need to remind ourselves to walk with respect and dignity like they did,” Boyd added.

Rain said she also hopes to organize monthly drum circles in the future for all nations.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Missing woman

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A man’s shirt, placed on the line by Maggie Ranger honoured all missing and murdered women and Tyler Walter whose disappearance from Williams Lake in 2009 has never been solved.

The memorial attracted youth as well.

Virginia Gilbert and her daughter Frances participated in honour of all missing and murdered people, especially Virginia’s son, Gerald Supernault, whose murder in 2008 has never been solved.

Loriann Tenale (left) from Tl’esqox First Nation, along with her brother Syles Laceese and mother, Mary Tenale, drum and sing a Tsilqhto’in Warrior Song.

Participants drum and sing the Women’s Warrior song.

Nildziyenhiyah Laceese was one of the younger participants and in the words of Sheila Dyck from 103 Mile House, is the future generation that needs to be watched out for.

Crystal Rain Harry (left) wants the memorial to be the first of many events in Williams Lake that will honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women, two-spirited, plus.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Williams Lake cow boss statue replacement options explored

Statue was modelled after Evan Howarth, former cow boss at Cotton Ranch

HAPHAZARD HISTORY: Ox team freighters play important role in Cariboo Gold Rush

The Cariboo Wagon Road was to provide a direct and dependable route

Williams Lake-filmed ‘Because We Are Girls’ to be streamed free on NFB website

Acclaimed movie among seven documentaries to debut at NFB.ca in July

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read