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First Nation vigils planned across Thompson-Okanagan to honour missing and murdered women

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October 03, 2016 - 4:30 PM

OKANAGAN – First Nations across the country will be holding vigils this week to call attention to the increasing number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

Okanagan Indian Band spokesperson Shaylen Smith calls the Sisters in Spirit National Day of Vigils a “movement for social change.”

“Each year, family members, Aboriginal community members, and concerned citizens gather for a vigil on Oct. 4 to honour the memory of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls,” she says in a media release.

According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada website the number of vigils has grown from 11 in 2006 to 216 in 2014.

Vigils will be held in Kelowna, Vernon, Enderby, Penticton and Kamloops as well as other communities across Canada.

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society is holding a candlelight vigil, dinner and moment of silence at the Centre in downtown Kelowna from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the Okanagan Indian Band is hosting one at the Cenotaph on Westside Road in Vernon at noon.

The Splatsin First Nation has organized an event that starts at 11 a.m. at the Enderby Bridge for prayers, drumming, singing and offering tobacco. There will be a walk to the Community Centre at 5775 old Vernon Rd. for snacks and coffee and speakers.

The Okanagan National Transition Emergency House, the Penticton Indian Band and other groups have organized a prayer and dinner at the Band Hall on Green Mountain Road in Penticton starting at 5:30 p.m.

In Kamloops, the B.C. Native Women’s Association will hold a candlelight vigil and moment of silence at the Coast Hotel on October 28.

For more information visit the Native Women's Association of Canada website.

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