By Premila D’Sa
Ryerson’s Indigenous community gathered on the night of Feb. 6 with a healing ceremony and potluck, in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The event, organized by Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council, began with smudging, a ritual smoke cleansing used to purify a space for ceremonies.
Joanne Dallaire, Elder and traditional counsellor at Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council, led the healing ceremony. Dallaire encouraged participants to express their emotions–a box of tissues was silently passed along the room for whoever needed it.The community was asked to remember relatives and members of the Indigenous community whose murders and missing cases remain unsolved.
The Canadian government launched a $53.8-million national inquiry into the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women on Dec. 8, 2015. The five commissioners in charge of the inquiry assured families that testimonial hearings would begin in spring.
But for now, Ryerson’s Indigenous community gathers to remember and heal, sharing their food and pain.