Grand Council Treaty #3 commences The Red Ribbon Campaign in awareness of MMIWG
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
In a continued attempt to raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), the Social Department of Grand Council Treaty #3, with support of the Women’s Council Gaagiidoo-Ikwewag, have commenced The Red Ribbon Campaign. It is a movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who stand against violence toward Indigenous Women and Girls.
The red ribbon is worn to represent one’s commitment to honor, respect, protect and love the Indigenous Women and Girls in our life and to come together in ending violence against them. The ribbons can be requested by emailing at [email protected].
MMIWG Worker, Cassandra Yerxa shared, “We are hoping this will become an annual event in the month of February as the Red Ribbon represents Zahgidiwin (Love), in honor of the Seven Grandfather Teachings and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.”
A media release issued by Grand Council Treaty #3 about The Red Ribbon Campaign stated, “In light of the unsolved cases here in Treaty #3 territory it is time we recognize violence against Indigenous Women and Girls as a National Human Rights Crisis.”
Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh mentioned, “It is initiatives such as The Red Ribbon Campaign that keeps the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at the forefront of discussions in our Nation.”
Yerxa shared that she hopes this event is able to start the conversation on what steps can be taken to address the underlying societal issues that lead to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and press for action on systemic racism in all its forms.
The media release states that Indigenous women make up four per cent of Canada’s population, yet account for 10 per cent of all missing or murdered women. Grand Council Treaty #3 continues to advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and press for action on systemic racism in all its forms. Kavanaugh added, “I applaud the leadership of the Women’s Council and lift them up in their efforts to have these difficult conversations and raise awareness of MMIWG.
Yerxa encourages anyone interested, to donate to shelters for women and the homeless, within Treaty #3 Territory, such as Naotkamegwanning Women’s Shelter, Women’s Shelter, Saakaate House, Shelter of Hope, Hoshizaki House, First Step Women’s Shelter, and New Starts Women’s Shelter. Donations can be made by contacting the shelters.