NATIONAL DAY OF AWARENESS FOR MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS ON MAY 5, 2022
Students and teachers from Regina Balfour Collegiate took part in a special educational project at the RCMP Heritage Centre on May 5, 2022. The program took part on Red Dress Day and part of it unfolded at the Place of Reflection near the Centre, where students learned the importance of smudging and prayer. This important day was a collaboration of our special partners to engage approximately 100 youth to learn more about the significant role of Indigenous women in their families, communities, and nations. They learned the importance of smudging ceremonies and examined historical and current societal attitudes towards Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ that perpetuate ignorance, racism, sexism, and discrimination and place them at high risk of becoming victims of violence. Students also met with a panel of police officers where they examined past and current police practices and protocols, and how these may or may not be evolving to address community needs.
SMUDGING CEREMONY AT THE PLACE OF REFLECTION ON JUNE 9, 2022
On June 9, Elder Sharon Agecoutay, together with the Place of Reflection committee and friends, carried out a smudging ceremony at the Place of Reflection. With the support of the RCMP “F” Division, RCMP Depot and RCMP Heritage Centre, a tipi frame was raised beside the stone medicine wheel. RCMP Cadets, Regina City Police, and Place of Reflection committee members took part in raising the tipi frame. It was a learning experience like no other for cadets who are currently training at Depot. It was explained by Barry Ledoux (retired RCMP) that raising a tipi is part of a setting up camp ceremony with great significance being given to the four directions the poles are situated, and to the place where the tipi pole touches the earth. On the top a pole facing each direction, a coloured cloth print was tied signifying colours that represent the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited Peoples and Residential School children who were lost as well as those who survived. A “grandmother” cloth was tied, as well as a blue cloth having special significance to the Place of Reflection and the annual Sisters in Spirit October 4th Vigil for MMIWG2S+.