Cranbrook residents showed their support on Monday for the Day of Action and Memorial for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Cranbrook was one of many communities across Canada to hold a march and memorial service, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
“This was in memory of missing and murdered indigenous men and women all across Canada, for Willy Warbrick here in Cranbrook, for my mom who was murdered when I was a month and a half old and my aunt who ended up on the Robert Picton farm,” said Arlene Henry, coordinator for the memorial walk. “It was to hold space so people could come here and begin healing for the missing and murdered.”
Henry said she was pleased with the number of people who showed up early Monday afternoon across various age groups to show support.
This was the first-ever Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls event in Cranbrook.
“My message to everyone is to start taking care of yourself spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally so that, as an individual, we don’t end up missing and murdered,” said Henry. “We also came to honour our women and our children and to protect them so we have a community that we’re safe in and so we don’t have to worry about sexual predators out there, going after our women.”
Henry emphasized the importance of keeping yourself and others safe.
“Women should let other women know where they’re going. Men, keep an eye on the women you care about. It’s about taking care of ourselves.”
Following the march, attendees met in front of the Operation Street Angels building for drumming, speeches and food. Rocky Mountain Martial Arts held a self-defence demonstration after the march.