Ashlee Tom and Shelly Nguy hold a poster honouring the missing women on the Highway of Tears during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls and Two-Spirit Memorial Vigil at the Kelowna courthouse Wednesday. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Ashlee Tom and Shelly Nguy hold a poster honouring the missing women on the Highway of Tears during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls and Two-Spirit Memorial Vigil at the Kelowna courthouse Wednesday. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Vigil held to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women

“We don’t want to gather here year after year and pass it along to our grandchildren and our children”

It was a bittersweet moment during the Kelowna’s seventh annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls and Two-Spirit Memorial Vigil.

Westbank First Nation chief Roxanne Lindley addressed a crowd of approximately 100 people, who gathered outside of the courthouse Wednesday night.

“When we look at our murdered and missing Indigenous women, we know that it’s an injustice and to know that this is going on in this day and age, with all this technology it’s quite heartbreaking actually,” she said.

“When Canada speaks of reconciliation, and our prime minister (uses) that word, these are the types of issues that we want dealt with. We don’t want to gather here year after year and pass it along to our grandchildren and our children to gather here year after year to express our sorrow.”

Tina Miller has been organizing the vigil for the past four years, and said the situation hasn’t improved for women.

“Think of Clara Forman recently, and her daughters right? Right here in our own backyard.”

Bringing awareness to the issue is a step forward, but you have to do that by looking back, she said.

But the event isn’t something Miller wants to pass on to her children.

“I’ve got three daughters and a son, and they’ve watched me do this over the years. I don’t want to pass this legacy onto them, I shouldn’t have to,” she said.

Students from Mt. Boucherie Secondary and the Westbank First Nation beat drums to honour the missing women, singing the Okanagan Song.

“In my opinion it’s growing and growing,” said Miller of the awareness.

A collective formed to organize the event, which is new this year, she said.

Pauline Terbasket, executive director of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, has attended the vigils in Kelowna since the beginning.

“Injustice is injustice, think of the mothers, the families that are suffering great loss. Some of these women and girls have never been found, their cases are not closed. There’s no closure for our families, our peoples, in respect to this issue. Yes it’s sad to say that we have to meet this way, but it’s important, it’s our responsibility to meet this way. We all are responsible to foster social change.”

Shelly Nguy doesn’t have an Indigenous background, but said she wanted to attend the event to show her support. Ashlee Tom stood with her, holding a poster with faces of missing women on the Highway of Tears in northern B.C.

“I think it’s important, and my family actually did a unity ride to raise awareness about the Highway of Tears a few years ago so it’s something that’s been important to my family as well,” said Tom.

“I think there’s more awareness now than there’s used to be.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

(BC Conservation Service)
Hunter charged, fined for poaching immature moose in West Kelowna

Richard Fischer pled guilty to two charges under the BC Wildlife Act

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Real estate sales in the South Okanagan grew by more than any other part of the province in 2020. (Marissa Tiel - Black Press)
South Okanagan fastest growing real estate market in B.C.

There was over $1 billion in residential sales in 2020

Most Read