Community rallies to support families

The message is loud and clear from one young woman in the round dance to respect and remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Left-right, are Louise Ward, Jennifer Whitehead and Jery Ward.
Driftpile organizes round dance to remember missing, murdered loved ones
Richard Froese
South Peace News

Missing and murdered Indigenous women, men and youth were remembered during a special round dance at the Driftpile Community Hall May 26.

“We want to acknowledge and support people who are struggling with missing and murdered family members and friends,” says Driftpile Cree Nation Councillor April Isadore, who led the organizing committee with Councillor Florence Willier.

“We want to make this an annual event.”

About 150 people gathered during the evening to remember and reflect.

“We want to come together as a community to show our support,” Isadore says.

“It’s hard to talk about, there seems to be no closure and no answers to questions.”

She says people in Driftpile were inspired to organize the round dance to focus more locally after the annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil annually hosted in October by the High Prairie Native Friendship Centre.

“We now have healing in our First Nation,” Isadore says.

She encourages other Indigenous communities to create local links.

“We’re trying to work with the justice system to get answers,” Willier says.

“Every community has been experiencing this and it’s difficult to move forward.”

Words of love and support were also expressed from the two MCs.

“This is a time of healing, it’s a time to lift each other up,” Laurent Isadore says.

Stan Isadore added his message.

“We respect those who are experiencing these tough times,” says Isadore, who called the event a memorial. “We’ve been fighting for protection for our women, our people for a long time.

“We also want to remember missing and murdered Indigenous men, boys and youth.”

One of the individual round dances was a memorial where people remembered loved ones missing and murdered.

Men of all ages, from teens to elders, were among the drummers and singers at the round dance. Left-right, are Gabe Isadore, S.J. Bellerose and Mihkwa Bellerose.
Driftpile Councillors Florence Willier, left, and April Isadore were the lead organizers. People in Driftpile were inspired to organize the round dance to focus locally after the annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil annually hosted in October.
Women wear red shirts as a symbol to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Left-right, in the food line are Kathy Cunningham and Geraldine Anderson of Driftpile and Gail Gladu of Peavine.

 

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