Vigils in Winnipeg and Ottawa paid tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls Thursday evening.
In Ottawa, the memorial began with a small feast on Victoria Island.
The vigil in nation’s capital started in 2006 in honour of Bridget Tolley’s mother Gladys, who was killed in 2001 in Maniwaki, Que.
“Tonight it’s special to me because last week I testified at the Quebec commission and I was able to testify in honour of my mother’s death 17 years ago, so it was a very special day for me, but it’s a special day for me every day because I do this work every day and I do it because it’s in the heart and it’s hard to see the family members going through what we went through decades ago,” said Tolley.
Alaya McIvor organized Winnipeg’s vigil and explained why it was important to families.
“They didn’t want to be left in trauma, they didn’t want to deal with trauma anymore, they want to be lifted up, they want to heal, they want to move forward in healing,” said McIvor.