'A situation where it calls for action': Vigil held for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
Hundreds gathered in front of Lethbridge city hall Monday evening before marching to Galt Gardens for the Sisters in Spirit vigil.
The event honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) and supports families who have dealt with the loss of loved ones due to violence.
Organizers and participants say it means a lot to see how much the event has grown over the past 15 years.
"Every year it seems to be getting bigger with the support we're getting from the community," said Wendy English, a resolution health support worker and the vigil's emcee.
"It's part of reconciliation, it's supporting each other and helping each other and coming together as brothers and sisters. We're all one."
English says two of her grandchildren were murdered in Lethbridge seven years ago.
She says prayer has been what's gotten her and her loved ones through the tough times.
"Prayer's are so powerful," she told CTV News.
"For all the prayers to continue throughout the world, for all the people that are still missing and for closure for some of the family members."
According to the Assembly of First Nations, Indigenous women make up 16 per cent of all female homicide victims and 11 per cent of all missing women, even though Indigenous people only make up 4.6 per cent of Canada's population.
Vigils like the one in Lethbridge, and the many others that took place across Canada, are meant to keep the issue at the forefront.
"It shines a light on what's been happening in Canada," said Sheldon Day Chief, one of the vigil's participants and drummers.
"It's a situation where it calls for action."
The vigil also honoured members of the 2SLGBTQQIA community who have been lost as well.
For the families of all those lost, the growing support home and nationwide brings them hope for action and justice.