People gathered Friday afternoon to tie red ribbons on the Lockport bridge to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Event co-ordinator Jeannie Red Eagle said it was the first time the ribbons reached Lockport, and she thinks the location was the perfect place to bring the awareness event.
“The Red River connects all of us,” she said. “It just seemed fitting.”
Red Eagle said some of the ribbons have women’s names written on them, and others have more general terms like mother, daughter or auntie.
She said at this event, the men were the ones tying the ribbons, because organizers wanted them to take an active role in bringing awareness to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“We also want to make space for them to help heal,” she said.
“My heart goes out to the men in our community, our men who are hurting, because these women whose ribbons we’re putting up, they also are their mothers, their daughters, their grandmothers, their aunties and their wives.”
Parry Francois said it was important for him to tie a few ribbons on the bridge to acknowledge the people in his life who have been taken too soon.
“It’s to honour them and to be able to give the community some strength,” he said. “To support them, to help them, the community, and to connect with all the people.”
Matthew Willam said he came to the event to do his part to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“It’s very important for the women to support the men, and [for] the men to support the women,” he said. “We’re all in this together.”
The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released in June, and included 231 calls for justice — steps that need to be taken to end what it defined as a genocide against Indigenous women and girls.