Mothers often become advocates for change as they wish to leave a better world behind for their children.
Earlier this year, Lorette Caribou from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation reached out to Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak’s Grand Chief to share her experience taking a taxi in the City of Winnipeg. During her ride in the taxi, she was made to feel unsafe—a situation that many other Indigenous women have found themselves in over the years.
Loretta came forward to advocate for change and awareness in the hopes of making things safer for other women. You can read more about what happened to Loretta, along with MKO’s reminder about the need for MKO citizens to remain vigilant while using taxis here: https://mkonation.com/remainvigilantwhenusingtaxis/
As a result of her advocacy, Loretta received an invitation to attend a ceremony to honour and remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at Winnipeg’s city hall on May 5. She brought along her daughter and invited her Chief and Councillor to attend the ceremony with her.
Loretta also invited several MKO staff—we thank you for continuing to share and to advocate for Indigenous women and girls.
Chief Lorna Bighetty and Councillor Shirley Castel joined Loretta and others at the memorial event. Chief Bighetty reflected after the ceremony was complete that it was a good opportunity and space for people to remember and honour the loved ones they have lost.
The third anniversary of the release of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report and the 231 Calls for Justice is quickly approaching. The Calls for Justice are legal imperatives—they are not optional. All governments must have the political will to support and be accountable for the mechanisms required for the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice. The actions from the implementation process must be felt on the ground to result in transformative change.
“Take the time to educate others about and bring awareness to the crisis of MMIWG2S+. We are responsible for taking action to help put an end to violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people,” said Heidi Spence, Director of MKO’s MMIWG Liaison Unit.
“On behalf of MKO First Nations, I will continue to advocate for all levels of government to continue to implement the 231 Calls for Justice stemming from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. I urge other MKO citizens to stand with me in solidarity and work to end gender-based violence in our communities.”
~Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Here are some photos from the ceremony held at Winnipeg City Hall on May 5, 2022, along with a photo of Grand Chief Garrison Settee following a meeting with Chief Bighetty and Councillor Castel.