Walkers honouring murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls passing through Kenora on Thursday, July 5
Kenora, Ontario, July 4, 2018 – Da-namaamin moseyang giw-ganchigaazjig kwewag (We will walk in prayer for these murdered women) is a group of young people walking in prayer across Canada to raise awareness of the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
They are expected to arrive in Kenora, following Highway 17 through town, late in the afternoon on Thursday, July 5, weather permitting.
Organizer E Naad Maa Get (Branden Emmerson) said, “What we’re seeking to do is not only raise awareness but also to show solidarity amongst First Nations for the families that have been affected; to show that their loved ones aren’t being forgotten.”
He said the decision to do the walk was a pro-active step to do something when nothing else seemed to be making a difference. “We know that we can’t solve the issue but maybe one of the people we come into contact will have some of the answers.”
E Naad Maa Get is a band member of The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. He started the walk on the Winter Solstice along with Niibin (Tianna Fillo also of Nawash) and Jacqueline Hines (Pennsylvania). They have been joined by others including Carolyn Gable of Pennsylvania.
He describes how having a unified sense of purpose is helping the group continue on in the face of many challenges including the breakdown of their RV, which is their home on the road, dramatic weather conditions, and dwindling funds. Theirs is a grassroots effort with no corporate sponsorship.
The group starts each day by reading reports and sharing the stories of one of the women or girls they are walking for online.
“We all know that we’ve become involved with something that’s larger than ourselves,” he said. “We’re walking for these women that we don’t know, but we have a shared sense of why this is so important.”
E Naad Maa Get adds that another goal is to bring the conversation more into the open in First Nations communities. “We need to become accountable and recognize that we’re a healing people and to show that, through our acts and involvement, overcoming this is not an impossible task.”
He believes that many Canadians have no idea of the extent of the issue. On its website the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) states: “Throughout our work, NWAC believed the violence against Indigenous women to be much more pervasive than publicly available data would indicate. This suspicion was confirmed in 2013, when the RCMP released a report revealing 1,181 cases of missing and/or murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
Funds are starting to run low and the group can always use gas and gift cards. The public can offer their support by visiting the Da-namaamin moseyang giw-ganchigaazjig kwewag Facebook page.
For more information:
E Naad Maa Get
Or leave a message on their Facebook page