Red dresses along Westside Road symbolize indigenous women who have been murdered or are missing. (photo submitted)

Red dresses send a message

  • Oct. 6, 2017 1:30 a.m.

The Okanagan Nation wants an end to violence against women.

On Wednesday, events were held at part of the Red Dress campaign and Sisters in Spirit National Day of Vigils.

“We want to highlight the important of ending violence against indigenous women and all women,” said Patricia Wilson, North Okanagan Friendship Centre executive director.

“We want safety and protection for all. We want to alleviate situations where the risk of violence has been systemically higher for indigenous women.”

Events included a gathering along Westside Road and the displaying of red dresses, which are a visible reminder of those murdered and missing.

Also on Wednesday, the North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society, Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency House Society, Vernon Women’s Transition House Society and Okanagan Indian Band hosted a Sisters in Spirit event at the Elk’s Hall.

“Missing and murdered indigenous women are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, cousins, partners and wives,” said Wilson.

“They are missed everyday in every way by their loved ones and communities. Ninety per cent of missing and murdered Indigenous women are mothers. Sixty-four per cent of the cases reported occur in urban areas. Join us in support of never forgetting and remembering those who have gone missing, and who have been murdered. In unity, in education and in support of our life-givers and never forget that they have gone too soon.”

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