This past Saturday, a group of about 60 people gathered on the St. George's lawn for a short bell-ringing ceremony in memory of the over 1181 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. This coincided with the Walking with Our Sisters memorial exhibit at the K'omoks Band Hall. The bell rang more than 119 times, with the first 20 rings offered by Residential School Survivors. A group of gathered singers and drummers played the woman's warrior song while the bell rang.
Over 1,181+ native women and girls in Canada have been reported missing or have been murdered in the last 30 years. Many vanished without a trace with inadequate inquiry into their disappearance or murders paid by the media, the general public, politicians and even law enforcement.
Walking with Our Sisters is a memorial art installation to honour the lives these women, and to acknowledge the grief and torment their families continue to suffer; and to raise awareness of this issue and create opportunity for broad community-based dialogue on the issue.
The United Church of Canada is committed to reconciliation with First Peoples as part of Christ’s own ministry of healing and reconciliation. St. George's is encouraging its community to attend the exhibition and to spread the word as a way for us to discern how best we as a community of faith might engage in our own work of reconciliation and healing with our indigenous brothers and sisters.
Attending the Exhibition
It will be touring the Comox Valley at the K’omoks Band Hall July 31-Aug 15, 2015. The Mission and Outreach Team at St. George's is organizing rides to the event. People who can drive and day available and those who need a ride may sign up in the hall during coffee following July 19th worship. Or you can contact Carole McLellan or Carol Lidster for more information using the form at the bottom of this page.
Participating in the Bell Ringing
On Saturday, August 1st beginning at 10:00am, a special bell-ringing ceremony will be held on the front grounds of St. George’s, hosted by Rev. Ryan Slifka, St. George's Minister, and Kristy Bell, a volunteer with Walking with Our Sisters who has been long associated with the St. George's community. The church bell will ring 1181 times over 10 days to commemorate the indigenous women and girls in Canada that have been reported missing or have been murdered in the last 30 years. At the Saturday ceremony, the bell will ring 119 times, and will be accompanied by a group of First Nations singers and drummers organized by Kristy who will sing the Women's Warrior Song while the bell rings.
The ringing is set to coincide with the beginning of Walking with Our Sisters. It is hoped that this event will raise awareness about the missing women and the memorial, and broader issues affecting indigenous people in Canada. You can see a copy of the press release here.
Fill out the form below if you are in need of a ride or are able to give one.