Langley’s Trinity Western University joined the annual movement and hosted a march on its campus to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
During the ceremony, university members gathered at the Remembrance Circle on the Langley campus. They set up a series of story walk trellis boards and layout cedar branches between each trellis.
Cedar branches are medicinal and symbolize healing, and the cedar tree is part of Stó:lō spiritual practices, Patti Victor, university Siyá:m and chair of TWU’s Indigenous Partnership Council, shared.
Inspired by Jaime Black, an artist of Anishinaabe and Finnish descent, participants hung red dresses on the trees surrounding the Remembrance Circle at the centre of campus.
“This is an opportunity for the community to come together to grieve the loss of our beloved sisters, to remember the women who are still missing, and to dedicate ourselves to justice,” said Victor, who led students, staff and faculty to gather in solidarity.
Victor – Stó:lō from Cheam First Nation – opened the campus events following traditional Stó:lō protocol, with drumming and song.
The private Christian university has chosen Feb. 14 and 15 to remember and reflect upon the injustice and join in solidarity with the Women’s Memorial March in downtown Vancouver.
The statue of Gassy Jack, an 1860s business owner after whom Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood is named, was toppled at the 31st annual march on Feb. 14 in Vancouver.
Victor invited the community to stand in a moment of silence and prayer for the murdered and missing women before she closed Monday’s ceremony with an honour song. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, a second event was held to reflect on and respond to the calls to justice from the MMIWG report.
Those who led the two-day event alongside Victor included staff member Janet Kreiter, nursing instructor Kathleen Lounsbury of the Kwakwaka’wakw territory, and resident director Amanda Seymour of the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne.
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