Hundreds gather at a Sisters in Spirit vigil in 2015. File photo.

On Wednesday night, vigils are expected across Canada, all with the aim of raising awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The Sisters in Spirit Vigils have steadily grown since the Native Women’s Association of Canada first introduced them in 2006.

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte is the founder of the organization Women Walking Together, which is an advocacy group for Indigenous women. She is the organizer of a Saskatoon Sisters in Spirit Vigil, and says the goal of these events haven’t changed since they first began.

“Basically every year, we do this to honour the memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and we hope to raise awareness on the issue and provide support to families who have lost a loved one,” she said.

In 2006, there were 11 Sisters in Spirit Vigils nationwide, but last year there were nearly 200.

Okemaysim-Sicotte says every year, more and more people are becoming aware of the issue and more people are attending these vigils in response.

“I think that is a big reason more people are coming out and saying more needs to be done,” she said. “Hopefully we see some kind of justice for these families.”

The Saskatoon vigil is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night in front of a monument to missing and murdered Indigenous women in front of Saskatoon Police Service headquarters.

Okemaysim-Sicotte says this is both symbolic and a chance for those who have not yet seen the monument to take it in.

Several vigils are also planned across the province, including events in La Ronge, Prince Albert, Onion Lake and Cumberland House.