WOLFVILLE, 28 September 2012 - Acadia University is pleased to host community and campus members at the annual Sisters in Spirit (SIS) Vigil on October 4, 2012, to celebrate, honour, and remember Aboriginal women and girls, as well as support families who have been tragically touched by the loss of loved ones to violence. The event at Acadia University is one of 110 Sisters in Spirit Vigils that have been registered across Canada on October 4th.
To raise awareness, some Acadia students are collecting new and gently used women's and girls' shoes to create an art installation. The students hope to collect 600 pairs of like new or never worn shoes that the students will use in an art installation in the K.C. Irving Centre of the Environment (KCIC) on campus. The public is invited to drop off new or like-new shoes at Welkaqnik, Aboriginal Gathering Space, in the DeWolfe House at Acadia University or to bring them to the event on October 4th.
Acadia University student Graig Gallant states: "We want to create an art installation that helps raise awareness, inspires compassion...and action." Gallant and his fellow community and campus collaborators are happy that Acadia University will ship the shoes to communities in Nunavut and Labrador after the 4 October event.
Acadia University Professor Cynthia Alexander explains: "We want to keep the relationship going with northerners that Acadia students, the campus and local communities have enjoyed in recent collaborations. We are learning from Inuit about their philosophies and approaches in our classes and this is one opportunity during our community-campus SIS initiative to show that we are remembering and honouring Indigenous women and girls coast to coast to coast." She states that “students and others across the campus and local community wanted to support the national SIS initiative when they learned that, in the words of the Native Women's Association of Canada, "no other event in Canada brings so many Aboriginal communities and Canadian citizens together to specifically celebrate, honour and support Aboriginal women and girls."” Elaborating on this, Acadia student Graig Gallant mentioned that he is "pleased that a new national partner in the SIS initiative is the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)."
The series of events are taking place on October 4th from noon-9 pm. Starting with the noon-hour workshop in KCIC, an afternoon Mawio'mi (or gathering) at Welkaqnik, a late afternoon Walk of Remembrance, and an evening vigil in KCIC for people to share a moment of silence, memories and refreshments.
Last year's vigil attracted about 100 people, and the event co-organizers are hoping for an even larger turnout this year.
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Please contact student event co-organizer Heather Waye: email@example.com, or for more information contact Dr. Cynthia J. Alexander, Professor in the Department of Politics, at firstname.lastname@example.org.