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Week Four and Week Five – ’30 Days of Justice 2011′

September 25, 2011

Hi all,

We are entering the last stretch of Families of Sisters in Spirit’s ’30 Days of Justice’.  Last week, Walk4Justice was in Ottawa and it was an honor to walk the last stretch of their trek across Canada to reach Parliament Hill.

Thank you for the wonderful support for this important campaign.

The last month has been packed with important events, discussions, people and opportunities to accompany one another, to raise critical awareness, support Aboriginal families affected by violence, and demand justice and accountability in the disappearances and murders of more than 600 Aboriginal women and girls in Canada in recent decades.

Next week, Families of Sisters in Spirit is hosting the closing event for ’30 Days of Justice’, the annual Families of Sisters in Spirit vigil, part of the national network of Sisters in Spirit vigils happening across the country on October 4th. Please scroll down for more information and share widely.

(*) Check out this link for the Amnesty International petition entitled Canada must stop violence against Indigenous women.

NDP MP Paul Dewar will be reading them into Parliament so we want as many signatures as possible!


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th:Indigenous Women, Two-Spirit People, and Resistance to Police Violence and Prisons: A panel discussion

Time:  7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: McNabb Community Centre

180 Percy St.

Wheelchair Accessible

Tania Dopler, Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy

Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Three other speakers from the Elisabeth Fry Society to speak to their experience of the Correctional Justice System

This event will focus on the violence experienced by Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people by the police and prisons, their resistance to this violence and alternatives to both the police and prisons.

“Aboriginal women are over‐represented in the federal correctional system, representing only 2% of women in Canada and 29% of women in federal prisons in July, 2003. In July, 2003, 60% of Aboriginal women serving federal sentences were in prison.”

“Native peoples’ experiences are often completely erased from mainstream discussions of law enforcement violence. Yet, since the arrival of the first colonists on this continent, Native women and Native Two Spirit, transgender and gender nonconforming people have been subjected to untold violence at the hands of U.S. military forces, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement. Movement of Native peoples across borders with Canada and Mexico has been severely restricted, often by force, separating families and communities. Integral to the imposition of colonial society and enforced assimilation, the notion of “policing” was forced on sovereign nations and cultures that had previously resolved disputes within communities.”

“Developing community-based responses to violence is one critical option. Community accountability is a community-based strategy, rather than a police/prison-based strategy, to address violence within our communities. Community accountability is a process in which a community – a group of friends, a family, a church, a workplace, an apartment complex, a neighborhood, etc – work together to do the following things:

Create and affirm VALUES & PRACTICES that resist abuse and oppression and encourage safety, support, and accountability

Develop sustainable strategies to ADDRESS COMMUNITY MEMBERS’ ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR, creating a process for them to account for their actions and transform their behavior

Commit to ongoing development of all members of the community, and the community itself, to TRANSFORM THE POLITICAL CONDITIONS that reinforce oppression and violence

Provide SAFETY & SUPPORT to community members who are violently targeted that RESPECTS THEIR SELF-DETERMINATION”


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th: Survival Strength Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside (MOVIE NIGHT and DISCUSSION with Harsha Walia)

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: SAW Gallery

67 Nicholas St.

Join us for the screening of the amazing documentary ‘Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside’

Fundraiser for Families of Sisters in Spirit
Sliding scale $5-$20 (Pay what you can, nobody turned away)
The movie is in English and has English subtitles

After the film, we are delighted to have an online conversation with one of the film-makers, Harsha Walia.

With special guests: Sandra & Harry Augustine from ‘Hands are for Hugging not Hitting’ who will share their personal stories of survival and strength and their ‘blanket workshop’.

Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside is a short film that documents the 20 year history of the annual women’s memorial march for missing and murdered women in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. By focusing on the voices of women who live, love, and work in the Downtown Eastside this film debunks the sensationalism surrounding a neighbourhood deeply misunderstood, and celebrates the complex and diverse realities of women organizing for justice.

This 32 minute film, by Alejandro Zuluaga and Harsha Walia, is based on a concept by the Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group. This is a not-for-profit production that is available for free distribution under creative commons license. For more information, to book a screening, or to order a DVD please contact or


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th: FSIS presence at ‘Andrea Smith on Violence against Native Women and Struggles for Land’

Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

H-110, Concordia University Hall Building

1455 De Maisonneuve Ouest

Montreal, QC

Organized by 2110 Gender Advocacy Centre , Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Missing Justice-Montreal), *A CKUT co-sponsorship*

–Andrea Smith on Systemic Violence against Native Women and First Nations Land Struggles: Making the Links–

Andrea Lee Smith is a Cherokee intellectual, feminist, and anti-violence activist. Her work focuses on issues of violence against women of color and their communities, and Native American women in particular.

Smith is the co-founder of: INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence–a national grassroots organization that engages in direct action and critical dialogue; the Boarding School Healing Project–which seeks to document Native boarding school abuses so that Native communities can begin healing and demand justice; and the Chicago chapter of Women of All Red Nations. The experiences of women of color are central to both her activism and her academic work. She has worked as a rape crisis counselor, has published widely on issues of violence against women of color and is generally considered a leading expert on the topic.

In 2005, Smith was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize “as a woman who works daily for peace” in recognition of her research and work regarding violence against women of color in the US.

Once an assistant professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Andrea Smith is presently an associate professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California.

Childcare available with 48 hours notice // Wheelchair accessible space. // Whisper translation to French available on site.

Event is free of cost. Show up early to guarantee space!

More info: //
Contact: // //






As a part of ’30 Days of Justice’, Families of Sisters in Spirit, in collaboration with POWER, ACO and Somerset West Community Health Center, will be hosting a panel discussion on the disappearance and murders of Aboriginal Women in Canada. This is a panel with family members who will come and talk of their own experiences in regards to this grave and urgent national issue.

Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women – A panel with family members

Families of Sisters in Spirit is hosting a panel with family members on the disappearance and murders of Aboriginal women and girls in Canada, the evening before the annual Families of Sisters in Spirit Vigil, part of the nation wide Sisters in Spirit vigil network.


Laurie Odjick, mother of Maisy Odjick, 16, who disappeared Sept. 5 2008 with her best friend Shannon Alexander, 17 from Maniwaki, Quebec;

Pam and Fred Fillier, parents of Hilary Bonnell, 16, who was murdered in Burnt Church, New Brunswick in November 2009;

Sue Martin, mother of Terrie Ann Dauphinais, 24, who was murdered in her home outside Calgary in April 2002;

Bridget Tolley, daughter of Gladys Tolley who was struck and killed by a Surete du Quebec police car in October 2001;

Sandra and Harry Augustine, from Elsipotog, NB will talk about the ‘Blanket Project’.

Date: Monday, October 3rd 2011

Time: 6pm to 9pm

Location: Somerset West Community Health Center – 55 Eccles, in Chinatown, near Somerset West and Booth Street.



6th Annual ‘Sisters in Spirit’ vigil for missing and murdered Aboriginal women, girls, and their families

Tuesday October 4th 2011, 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM

October 4th Agenda:

11:00 AM – 12 PM vigil on Parliament Hill—family members, politicians, reading of 2011 Joint Statement
12PM Solidarity March to Victoria Island
12:30PM onwards, Festivities and feast at Victoria Island.

Festivities on Victoria Island include drumming, jingle dress dancing, social justice tabling, blanket workshop with Sandra & Harry Augustine, writing messages of support and solidarity with family members, and banners from the KAIROS Roll with the Declaration march, and much more!

For information about Sisters in Spirit vigils happening across Canada visit:


MORE DETAILS WILL BE POSTED THIS WEEK in regards to the vigil and the feast.


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