Community leaders and advocates gathered in downtown Trail last week to reflect on the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital part of the reconciliation process.
City council members, Trail RCMP, hospice staff, mental health workers and others, attended a window blessing by Kris Salikin and Crystal Laren from COINS (Circle of Indigenous Nations).
Salikin and Laren led the ceremony with a smudge, drum, and singing.
The window was created by members of the Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) committee, including representatives from RCMP Victim Services and workers from several programs offered by FAIR (Family and Individual Resource Centre).
The focus of the display is “Remembering and Honouring the Children through Truth and Reconciliation.”
It will be in place until the end of October.
The display is located at Mills Office Productivity Office Supplies – 1236 Bay Ave., Trail.
Local committees are made up of various community agencies with the goal of responding to and preventing violence against women.
These committees may include representatives from Transition Houses and Safe Homes programs, Stopping the Violence Counselling and Outreach, Community and Police Based Victim Assistance, Mental Health and Addictions and other social service agencies along with representatives from the justice system (Crown, Police and Probation).
The goal is to coordinate responses to individual cases and to provide effective community responses that will help to reduce the incidence of violence against women.
VAWIR committees are supported by B.C.’s Ending Violence Association (EVA BC) Community Coordination for Women’s Safety.
Committees are active in some communities in the West Kootenay-Boundary including Trail, Castlegar, Nelson.
According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 67 per cent of Canadians know a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse.
Indigenous women are killed at six times the rate of non-Indigenous women.
On any given night in Canada, 6,000+ women and children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe at home.