2nd Annual MMIWG Walk scheduled for Oct. 4

September 23, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

The community will be coming together early next month for an annual walk that honours and raise awareness around the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

The 2nd Annual MMIWG Walk is being held at 12:00 p.m. on Oct. 4, starting in the parking lot behind the local court house (10 Louisa St) and finishing at Town Hall, where the names of all the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Ontario will be read.

“We’re going to have a moment of silence as those names are read off, so that we can focus on each and every one of these people. They’re human beings,” said Debbie Sipkema, event organizer.

Indigenous women and girls are murdered at a rate that is 4.5 times higher than the rest of Canada’s female population, according to a RCMP report.

The MMIWG Report, which was released in 2019, describes an intergenerational genocide of Indigenous people in Canada, where there has been persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations that have caused staggering rates of violence on reserves.

With this in mind, Sipkema said its critical for the community to stand up and support Indigenous women.

“They say if you want to destroy a nation, destroy its women…so women need to stand beside each other and I think men need to stand beside the women – not because the women are incapable of anything – but as the protectors,” she noted.

When looking at government support for addressing the issue of disproportionate rates of MMIWG, Sipkema said Canadians collectively have to hold their feet to the fire to impact positive change. She added that law enforcement receiving more resources and proper education would help to address the issue as well.

This is the second year that the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle (DCCRC) has held a walk for MMIWG and Sipkema is hopeful that the event will help to bring the community together and spread awareness on the issue.

“Let’s unite as one full nation,” she said. “If we all back each other, things become better because they have to, because there’s too many people saying it can’t be that way anymore.”

Sipkema told the Citizen she’d encourage as many people as possible to come down to the courthouse on Oct. 4 and participate in the annual walk.

“Come and just learn,” she said. “Any [Indigenous] event that you can participate in is well worth the opportunity.”

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