Vigil ignored, voices silenced

Vigil ignored, voices silenced It was with dismay that the organizing committee of the 2009 Sisters in Spirit Vigil opened the paper on Monday, October 5. This extraordinarily successful event, with more than 100 women, men and children in attendance, r

It was with dismay that the organizing committee of the 2009 Sisters in Spirit Vigil opened the paper on Monday, October 5.

This extraordinarily successful event, with more than 100 women, men and children in attendance, received little coverage.

Further, the profoundly troubling issues inspiring the pan-Canadian vigil were also effectively ignored.

This absence, this lack of coverage is, sadly, consistent with the silence that has shrouded the more than 520 disappearances of aboriginal women over the last 30 years.

Where has the public and political will been to resolve these murders and missing persons cases?

How has the number grown to this epidemic level?

The disappearances, their lack of resolution and the near absence of public outcry and media coverage together communicate a deeply ingrained devaluing of aboriginal women.

They lay bare the institutionalized racism and sexism this beautiful, multicultural country so strenuously attempts to deny.

More than 100 people Ð including Justice Minister Marian Horne, Grand Chief Andy Carvill, AFN Regional Chief Eric Morris, and Teslin’s Chief Peter Johnston, among many chiefs, elders, and community leaders, showed up on a Sunday in Whitehorse, to assert the right of aboriginal women to live in safety. It was the community showing honour to women who were loved, and who have been lost. It was this community rejecting complacency and demanding action.

So do tell Ð why, again, were our voices silenced?

Sisters in Spirit Vigil organizing committee