There are an estimated 1,200 murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls in Canada. Loved ones and other Canadians have been pushing for a federal inquiry.
These murdered and missing women (MMIW) are the focus of an International Womenâ€™s Day event on Friday, March 6.
The Social Justice and Aboriginal Education Committees of the Langley Teachersâ€™ Association are sponsoring the event which takes place 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Kwantlen First Nations Cultural Centre, 23907 Gabriel Lane.
The speakers include registered social worker Melissa Hyland, who is a domestic sex trafficking educator, Lorelei Williams who founded the group Butterflies and Spirit, and former Langley School Board trustee Cecelia Reekie.
Williamsâ€™ cousin Tanya Holyk went missing in 1996 and her DNA was found on the Pickton farm. She also has an aunt missing. She founded the group Butterflies & Spirit which uses dance and music to raise awareness about the MMIW.
People planning to attend are asked to sign up in advance by contacting the LTA at firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-533-1618 or the LTA Facebook page. They can then pay at the door by cash or cheque.
International Womenâ€™s Day is March 8 and various groups have planned events. Womenâ€™s accomplishments will be celebrated at the Muriel Arnason Library in an all-ages event that includes activities, refreshments and a display of women in a variety of fields. This free event runs 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Rotary Club of Langley Central is planning an event to honour women.
The event was originally scheduled for March 7 but was changed to March 28 due to a scheduling issue with speaker Dianne Watts, the former Surrey mayor.
The luncheon is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 28 at the Newlands Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $35 per person and available online at www.internationalwomensday.ca.
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â€œThis is an event for both men and women to join together to celebrate the contribution made by women in our families, workplaces and communities,â€ said Rotarian John Peters.
This is the clubâ€™s fourth International Womenâ€™s Day luncheon.
â€œOur keynote speaker will be Dianne Watts, who was Mayor of the City of Surrey for three terms. We will also be honouring three local Women of Distinction.â€
The Women of Distinction luncheon will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 28 at the Newlands Golf and Country Club.
â€œMake everyday International Womenâ€™s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding,â€ he said.
The Shoppers Drug Mart in Willoughby Town Centre will be at the event providing five-minute makeovers.
In addition to the lunch buffet, the event features three local women receive Women of Distinction awards.
The event is also a benefit, helping Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley for their local â€œGo Girls!â€ group mentoring programs which promote a positive self-image, active living and balanced eating, and the Lantern Fund. Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan created the Lantern Fund which trains teachers to educate Afghan women and girls.