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Stolen Sisters Memorial March hits Campbell River streets

Erin Lihou walked in the Campbell River Stolen Sisters Memorial March on Tuesday morning with a picture of her sister Shelly Dene who went missing in Edmonton in August of 2013.

She said she walks to promote awareness and make her sister’s face known to the public.

“We are here for the people who can’t be,” she said. “Any time is too long [for someone to be missing].”

Lihou recently moved to Campbell River. Her family remains in Edmonton and continues to participate in the Stolen Sisters March there.

The memorial march originated in 1991 in Downtown Eastside Vancouver after a young Indigenous woman’s body was found dismembered. The march became an annual event to protest the high numbers of missing and murdered women whose cases have gone unsolved.

According to its official website, the march is a day for communities to come together to grieve the loss of loved ones and remember the women who remain missing.

Tanille Johnston, with help from other members of the community, organized the first annual march in Campbell River. She was a part of the group who put on the event in Victoria and when she moved home to Campbell River she decided to bring the event here as well.

The event started at Robert Ostler Park, where students from the Carihi Laichwiltach Learning Program played the Women Warrior Song by Martina Pierre.

The group of around 50 people braved the cold wind and made their way along Island Highway to the Kwanwatsi Big House where those who wanted to speak were welcome to.

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