A large group took to the steps of the Kelowna Courthouse Thursday afternoon to rally in solidarity for the many missing Aboriginal women of Canada.
“Today is a day to remember our sisters who are missing,” began Edna Terbasket, a First Nations woman who was one of the speakers at the event.
“If we think of them as a human being, as a person who had a life – whatever that life may have been – they were a person. And they were loved by their community, by their families, and they are still loved. They are being grieved for their losses and we must really work hard at not letting their losses go.”
The second annual event saw roughly 50 men, women and kids in the audience listen to speakers and drummers who expanded on the hapless situation not only affecting women in British Columbia, but around the world.
“The violence, whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual is still violence and still very hurtful to the heart,” added Terbasket.
“My message today: is to look at one another with only love in their heart and their mind and to treat one another how we would like to be treated.”
Also on hand was Kelowna city councilor Mohini Singh, who implored the crowd to “make today the day you start standing up and stopping violence against women.”
A topic of focus that continually comes up at events such as this is the infamous Highway of Tears, which is an 800-kilometer stretch of highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert BC. The official count shows 20 women have been murdered along that stretch of road since 1969, but aboriginal leaders estimate the number could be much higher.