A tree lighting ceremony is taking place in our region on Sunday where the focus is not on the holiday season.
The Rama Police Service will light a Tree of Hope adorned with red lights to bring awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
The event was spearheaded by Thunder Bay police in 2019.
“A 28-year veteran constable of the police service with an Indigenous background was tasked with coming up with some form of initiative to bring awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada,” said Rama Police Service Constable Brent Trivett. “And just in regard to the disproportionate numbers of survivors and people experiencing acts of violence and sexual abuse throughout Canada’s Indigenous communities.”
The 1,200 red lights on the tree represent 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women, according to Trivett, even though he said the number is about 1,200 to 5,000. He said the Tree of Hope is also to offer closure and support for families that had either experienced that or have survivors within the family.
The tree is also to support a call for accountability and justice and to help instill hope that women and men can come forward with strength and courage to aid in the protection of vulnerable people within Indigenous communities.
The public is welcome to attend the Tree of Hope lighting on Sunday, November 14 at 5 p.m. at the Rama Police Service office at 7450 Williams Road in Rama First Nation.