As the bells in the Peace Tower struck noon, a sombre hush fell over the large crowd gathered at Parliament Hill Monday. Everyone's eyes were on the stairs as a woman stepped down to the mic and asked us to make a path down the middle. A group of about 25 people began to walk slowly from the Eternal Flame, each one holding an enlarged picture of a woman or girl who had been murdered or is missing. As they took their places on the steps, the crowd was silent, the only sound coming from the drums that 3 men and a woman were sitting around, beating. Then their voices joined in as they sang a prayer to the Creator. Then an Algonquin elder took the stage, praying for the dead and missing Aboriginal girls and women, inviting us to pray with her,
The event was a sombre one, but there was an undertone of hope, because although there are more than 582 missing or murdered Aboriginal females in this country, the Sisters in Spirit initiative have been working hard to get police involved and work hard to find these girls.
This year 37 communities in 8 provinces held a vigil on October 4th in honour of this cause.