Stop the violence

Community workers organize a march and workshops to help end violence against women in the area.

With good news recently for the community of progress being made in the horrific murder of Fribjon Bjornson, the community can relax a little in the hope there may be fewer violent individuals roaming freely in the community.

However, there is still work to do.

This work is being carried on by may in the community, including Fireweed Collective Society, which is helping to organize a walk and event on Dec. 6 to end violence against women as part of White Ribbon Day.

As part of national events aimed at drawing attention to violence against women in commemoration of the L’Ecole Polytechnique massacre on Dec. 6, 1989 in Montreal when a lone gunman killed 14 women and injured 10 more as well as injuring four men, the group will host a vigil and walk.

The walk will begin at Spirit Square at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 and after a ceremony with drumming by Guy and Ruby Prince and the group will walk down to Kwah Hall, then around via Kwah Road and Second Avenue West and back to Spirit Square.

The local event will be aimed at drawing attention to some of the local cases of missing or murdered women and give families in the area an opportunity to honour their loved ones.

Workshops leading up to the walk will also help families access resources.

There will be a workshop in Nadleh near Fraser Lake on Dec. 5.

There were workshops in Fort St. James at The Key Resource Centre on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 to help people access resources if they are being impacted by violence and for people to make banners for the walk.

On Dec. 4 there will be a workshop in Tache at Tl’azt’en Health.

There are families across the community which have been impacted by violence against women, and in the local area alone, there is a long list of missing or murdered women.

Immaculate “Mackie” Basil has been missing since June 13, 2013.

Destiny Rae Tom was found beaten to death outside a residence on the Nautley First Nation outside Fort Fraser on March 23, 2013.

Madison Scott went missing from Hogsback Lake near Vanderhoof on May 28, 2011.

Loren Leslie was found murdered just south of Fort St. James in November 2010, Cody Legebokoff has been charged with her murder.

Barbara Joseph was killed and mutilated on the Nak’azdli Reserve in September 2004. Her cousin Winchester Thomas was convicted of manslaughter in the case and sentenced to 12 years.

Jacqueline Murdock, originally from Fort St. James, disappeared in Vancouver in 1997. Murdock’s DNA was later found on Robert Pickton’s farm.

Emily Tom, Jeanette Basil, Bonita Antoine, Mary Agatha Basil, Jina Joseph, Debra Joseph, Irene Pierre and Martina Johnny were also named by those at The Key Resource Centre for a workshop as being victims of violence from the area.

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