Langley events spotlight women and key issues

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 Women’s Day event on Friday, March 6.

The Social Justice and Aboriginal Education Committees of the Langley Teachers’ 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.

Williams’ 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 mail@langleyteachers.com, 604-533-1618 or the LTA Facebook page. They can then pay at the door by cash or cheque.

Library

International Women’s Day is March 8 and various groups have planned events. Women’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.

Rotary

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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“This is an event for both men and women to join together to celebrate the contribution made by women in our families, workplaces and communities,” said Rotarian John Peters.

This is the club’s fourth International Women’s Day luncheon.

“Our 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.”

The Women of Distinction luncheon will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 28 at the Newlands Golf and Country Club.

“Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding,” 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 “Go Girls!” 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.

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