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Candlelight vigil honours Sisters In Spirit PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Friday, 02 October 2015 16:53


A national movement to honour lost sisters and their families takes place this weekend.

For years, the Sisters in Spirit vigils have united people in its call for action on the tragedy of Canada's missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Prince Albert held its vigil on Friday afternoon at the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre.

Rhoda Peekeekoot, who works with victims of violence, has lost family members to violence and wants more people to know the reality.

“What we’re trying to do is be heard, like, look, this is what’s happening to our women, this is what’s happening to our children, this is what’s happening to men,” Peekeekoot said.

She shared the story of one woman she meets with whose son has been missing for years, who mainly looks for someone to speak with about what she’s going through.

The unanswered questions are something that many struggle with, Peeekeekoot said.

“We can never really finalize a person when that person’s gone missing because we don’t know,” she said.

Since 2010, Peekeekoot has read an original piece of writing, aloud, to people at the vigil. It expresses the importance of her culture, and the sadness of losing those teachings.

Peekeekoot lost a nephew in a violent attack several years ago, and said her family and home reserve is still coming to terms with its effects.

The official date for the Sisters in Spirit Candlelight Vigil is October 4.

Saskatoon will participate that day, as will Regina.

Regina will host a pipe ceremony and round dance.

The Sisters in Spirit initiative grew from the Native Women's Association of Canada, and has done research on the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women.

For more information, go to the Sisters in Spirit website here:


Full list of other events in Saskatchewan happening on Oct. 4

Saskatoon – Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) – March, speakers, light refreshments at 1120 20th Street West “Station20West” on October 4th from 3:30 to 6:30 pm

Onion Lake – Onion Lake Iskwewak Pasikowak – We walk from Chief Taylor to Community Hall and we release balloons then have candle vigil. Then we have lunch and have a sharing circle at Chief Taylor on October 4th at 3 pm.

La Ronge – Piwapan Women’s Centre – Walk from Lac La Ronge Band Office to Urban Rez. Chili and bannock afterwards at the Lac La Ronge Band Office on October 4th at 1 pm.

Yorkton – Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corp. – Meet at 93 Broadway St. W. (Library) and walk to City Centre Park for Rally & speeches. Food and refreshments to follow at the Western Financial City Centre Park in Yorkton on October 4th at 2 pm.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:11
RCMP looking into possible ballot burning on Poundmaker Cree Nation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mervin Brass   
Friday, 02 October 2015 16:41

Cut Knife RCMP are investigating a complaint that two men removed a ballot box during a byelection on the Poundmaker Cree Nation and then set the ballots on fire.

Mounties arrested a 34-year old man then released him with charges pending.

RCMP are looking for a 35-year old Poundmaker man in relation to the incident.

Poundmaker is about 200 kilometres west of Saskatoon.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 October 2015 16:41
Prince Albert forum discusses its cultural future PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Friday, 02 October 2015 16:37


Prince Albert's cultural identity was on people's minds Friday afternoon as residents were invited to speak up about how to strengthen the arts and heritage scene.

Suggestions from the City of Prince Albert cultural planning will eventually form part of the city's official community plan.

Amanda Parenteau helps homeless people and immigrants at the YWCA, and said she sees a connection between culture and the struggles her clients face.

“Culture’s a part of people’s identity, it’s a part of who they are. And if you lose part of that then you lose a piece of who you are, so it’s harder to get up on your feet,” Parenteau said.

To her, by strengthening the culture within the community helps – and affects – everyone.

“I think more people need to care about it,” she said. “Cultural awareness, cultural programming within the city affects everybody. Everybody has a culture, it’s not just First Nations, it’s not just immigrants coming into the community.”

The afternoon’s forum put people into groups to write about what the city has to offer on specific cultural fronts – from heritage, to business, to food – and to brainstorm what could enhance that in the future.

Parenteau’s group said it would be great to see a full university in Prince Albert.

“For a lot of First Nations people that are coming down from the north they have to come to P.A. and that’s already leaving home so if they want to go to university, they may be looking at going to four-year university in Saskatoon, and that’s an even bigger transition and that’s such a cultural shock,” she said.

Forum suggestions included creating a monument recognizing the truth and reconciliation committee’s final report coming out.

Those speaking at the event said Prince Albert has been a central spot for people with diverse backgrounds since it first became a city.

Many groups agreed that the City’s future plans need to acknowledge the rich history of all its cultures, and feel the City needs to do more to acknowledge First Nations history.

The City of Prince Albert will accept more suggestions on its cultural future in a survey that’s set to go on its website later this month.

Once suggestions are in, the next step is prepare a cultural plan.

About 45 people came out for the event at Prince Albert’s Margo Fournier Center.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:11
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