A red dress dangling from a cedar tree last Friday on the Coqualeetza grounds of Sto:lo Nation marked the National Day of Remembrance for missing and murdered Indigenous women in Chilliwack.
It was also an opportunity to announce the new “Women of Sto:lo” project from Sto:lo Service Agency.
“I’ve recently been hired on as Women of Sto:lo co-ordinator at Sto:lo Nation, and I will be executing this Status of Women funded project,” said Antonia Victor, WoS co-ordinator.
The project is geared to promoting health and wellness, both physical and mental, for all women, Indigenous and non-Indigenous on Sto:lo territory.
A crucial deliverable will be creating a “social and service” network for high-risk women coming off the streets, or coming out of domestic violence situations, Victor said.
Seasonal workshops on various health and mental wellness issues for women will also be forthcoming.
Funding for the four year Women of Sto:lo project came through the MMIW Inquiry process, and from the federal Status of Women department.
Mayor Ken Popove said he wanted to show support for the innovative new project, and dropped by the Coqualeetza grounds to do so.
The haunting sight of red dresses across Canada on Oct. 4 was a stark visual reminder of so many stolen sisters. There are an estimated 1,200 unsolved MMIW cases in Canada.