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Vigil in downtown Kelowna to remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

In Canada, Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people experience high rates of violence
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(Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society hosted a vigil in downtown Kelowna to remember the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ (MMIWG+) people in North America.

A march through the streets of downtown on Oct. 4, was followed by a ceremony where Elders stood beside the next generation of Kelowna’s Indigenous leaders to drum, sing and hold space for their missing and murdered sisters and 2SLGBTQIA+ community members.

In Canada, Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people experience higher rates of violence and are over-represented as victims of violent crime, when compared to the rest of the population, according to the Canadian Federal Government, the Assembly of First Nations, the MMIWG+ National Action Plan, and the Canadian National Inquiry into MMIW+.

The exact number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people in Canada is unknown as thousands of deaths and disappearances have not been reported or have been misreported, says the MMIWG+ National Action Plan.

The National Action plan calls on all levels of government to step up and implement strategies to stop violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

In Kelowna, the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society works at a community level to support Indigenous people, offer resources and share knowledge. Members of the RCMP and city council attended the vigil as a show of support in the fight to stop violence against Indigenous women and gender-diverse people.

The National Action Plan aims to address and bring awareness not only to missing and murdered women, but also to instances of sexual assault, child abuse, bullying, harassment and self-harm, which disproportionately impact Canada’s female and two-spirit Indigenous community.

The Final Phase Report by the National Inquiry says that “persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.”

People at the vigil in Kelowna shared stories of loss and came together to remember their sisters who are missing and who have died.

Kelowna’s Friendship Society offers support and programming to people in all stages and phases of life while working with the community in Kelowna to preserve, share and promote Indigenous culture. To learn more about the Ki-Low-Na Society, and the services they offer, visit kfs.bc.ca.

For more information on the actions taken by the federal government visit rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca.

@kelownacapnews Vigil held in downtown Kelowna to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women on Oct. 5. To learn more about #MMIW ♬ M.M.I.W. (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) - Jah'kota



Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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