Family of Murdered First Nation Women to Hold Vigil for Healing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2022
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) continues to share its heartfelt condolences to the family of Rebecca Stacey Contois. The recent discovery of remains found at the Brady Road landfill were identified by the Winnipeg police as belonging to Rebecca Contois, a citizen of O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation.
“My prayers are with the family and loved ones of Rebecca as they navigate through this tragic loss,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “To lose a relative is hard enough, and in this devastating and horrific way, healing will require that the entire community come together to help share the pain.”
The family is holding a candlelight vigil tonight, June 22, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 447 Pacific Avenue in Winnipeg. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to bring their prayers and drums.
SCO realizes that these findings can be triggering and traumatizing. Anyone who needs access to emergency counselling or support can call either of the following crisis lines 24/7:
- Klinic Crisis Line provides counselling and support at 1-888-322-3019
- The Sexual Assault Crisis Line also provides counselling and support at 1-888-292-7565
Rebecca is one of at least three Indigenous women murdered in the last two months in our Territory. The Chiefs of the southern First Nations recognize that all First Nation women, girls, and gender-diverse people as sacred. Traditionally, they are valued in our communities and society, yet due to colonization, racism, and gender discrimination, First Nation women, girls, and gender-diverse people disproportionately face tragic and life-threatening gender-based violence.
“Ultimately we have to do everything we can to end violence toward women and children and gender-diverse people,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “We continue working tirelessly for the safety of our women and girls and ensure supports are available for families to heal.”
SCO’s Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) offers crisis response, intervention, and case coordination services and the team will be in attendance at the vigil tonight. The MCRT is available to all southern First Nations and can be reached by phone at 1.877.SCO.2880 (1.877.726.2880) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. SCO is in the process of launching a Survivors Healing Supports Program to support MMIGW2S+, Survivors and families.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 81,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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