Over 40 women and three men took part in the Empowering Resilience event, part of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week.
“In the end we’ll all come together. It don’t matter what colour you are, you know you hug each other, you pray for each other and you share with each other the things you’ve gone through. It was really good,” said Cecilia Wood about Wednesday’s sharing circle.
It was an emotional gathering, running the same week as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in neighbouring Yukon.
Three women shared their personal stories ahead of the sharing circle. Kathy and Dean Meyer have been searching for answers and closure since 2010, when their daughter Angela was reported missing from Yellowknife on November 27th.
Cyndi Caisse, originally from Ile-a-la Crosse Saskatchewan spoke about the importance of forgiveness, and how the human spirit can heal on life’s journey. Caisse works with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and has been working in the field of Mental Health and Addictions for over 11 years.
“In the north we are told to be quiet. I think it’s a historical way of being and to not share their story, and I hope to see that change and vocalize and see people support each other,” said Yvonne Doolittle who was the third presenter. She has worked with community governments and youth across the territory for over a decade.
“We are more than murdered and missing,” a video presentation by Tamara Bernard from the Gull Bay First Nation was also viewed at the gathering.
The sharing circle was hosted by the Native Women’s Association of the NWT, and facilitated by Victim Service’s Marie Speakman and Michelle Larocque.
A community barbecue was also held on Friday at noon on Franklin Avenue to help raise awareness.