For immediate release
October 2, 2020
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is remembering and honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, and gender diverse people on Sunday, October 4 by hosting a memorial walk and vigil in Thompson, Manitoba.
Members of the public are invited to gather this Sunday, October 4 at the office of MKO Inc., 55 Selkirk Avenue in Thompson at 4:00 pm. The memorial walk will start at 4:30 pm and will proceed to MacLean Park, 226 Mystery Lake Road in Thompson. Upon arrival at Maclean Park there will be various speakers, entertainment, and a candlelight vigil.
“For the families who have been impacted by the loss of a loved one through a homicide or have a loved one who is missing, this is a very difficult and heartbreaking journey for all of you,” shared Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, program manager for MKO’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Liaison Unit. “October 4 is a day to know you are not alone. As an organization, we walk with you and honour the spirits of your loved ones.”
On September 23, 2020, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the second session of the 43rd Parliament and outline the government’s agenda. The agenda outlines accelerating work on the National Action Plan in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice as well as implementation of these calls. Women’s safety must be the foundation on which all progress is built. The government plans to accelerate investments in shelters and transitional housing and continue to advance with a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.
“I want to assure family members and loved ones in my role as the Grand Chief that I will do my utmost to be a change maker and create a pathway of progress to end all forms of violence towards Indigenous women and girls and Two Spirit and gender diverse people,” shared Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “As the Grand Chief of MKO I have the political will to support the creation of mechanisms for Indigenous women and girls and Two Spirit and gender diverse people to reclaim their power and place. This will require collaboration from all levels of government and organizations and must be led by impacted family members and survivors.”
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that has represented 26 First Nation communities in Manitoba’s North since 1981. The MKO represents more than 72,000 First Nations people.