A conference is set to open next week in Regina that will give friends and families of missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls a chance to talk about life after the national inquiry and to help heal each other.
“I think we have 274 family members that have registered and over 100 children have registered as well we are providing child care in other locations but the the gathering itself we are expecting over 300 people there,” says organizer Melissa Coomber Bendetsen of the Regina YWCA.
The event is called the Mamewe Mekowishwewin Miyochowin: Being Together Gives us Solace Gathering.
Bendetsen says the event will be held in a culturally sensitive environment with Elders, and prayers to help participants deal with the conversations and discussions.
“We put a call out to all of the bands and community leaders across Saskatchewan, we put a call out to government partners, the City of Regina and asked for all the families who wanted to come could come and access the gathering,” she said.
One of the organizers is Danielle Ewenin.
Her sister Laney was found on the outskirts of Calgary two days after she had gone missing in 1982.
Ewenin says families supporting each other is important and that’s why she’s helping organize the conference.
“Getting together this way gives us comfort and gives us solace part of our healing,” says Ewenin. “There’s a connection and a bond made between people who have had that kind of shared lived experience and there’s a profound understanding of each others grief angrish and their anger at the injustice.”
The Mamewe Mekowishwewin Miyochowin: Being Together Gives us Solace Gathering is taking place from Nov. 8 to 10 at the Evraz Place.
In June of 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released 231 calls to justice.
The issue was not discussed by party leaders during the federal election that ended on Oct. 21, with the election of Justin Trudeau and a minority Liberal government.
A new cabinet will be announced on Nov. 20 according to the prime minister.