An annual event since 2007, the Stolen Sisters Awareness Walk took place in Alert Bay on Monday, Feb. 16. The walk began at the ferry terminal and proceeded along Front Street to the front of St. Michael’s Residential School. Approximately 60 women, men and children carried placards and photos of missing women while drumming and singing.
The walk is held to raise awareness of the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Métis, Inuit, Non-status, and First Nations women in Canada. According to a press release from the local event organizers, Tanis Dawson and Sharon Leas, “Indigenous women aged 25-44 are five times more likely than other Canadian women to die of violence.” This awareness walk is part of a larger effort to research and raise awareness by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), who, in 2004 launched Sisters in Spirit whose mandate includes maintaining a database of missing and murdered aboriginal women and raising awareness of the problem.