Businesses and organizations across Canada, including some in Fort Frances, put up signs, stickers, decorations and articles of clothing in red in observance of the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) yesterday, May 5. Out at Seven Generations Education Institute’s (SGEI) Fort Frances campus, Binesiwag Centre for Wellness installed an art piece of a jingle dress dancer to help continue to raise awareness and provoke conversation about the crisis. Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the month, a series of events put on by the United Native Friendship Centre (UNFC), Treaty 3 Police’s Spirit of Hope Project and Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre will also continue to educate and invite the public to take part in coming together to help support those who have been impacted by MMIWG and help foster community solutions. According to the final report from Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, it is impossible to determine just how many lives have been lost to the crisis, with estimates reaching well into the thousands due to underreporting, poor record keeping and hesitance from Indigenous families to come forward to report their missing loved ones.
–Ken Kellar photos