Finding Peace: MMIWG Commemoration Project
The purpose of the project is to leave a lasting monument/memorial in Yukon that will raise the on-going issue of MMIWG in Yukon and northern British Columbia and honour the victims and their families. Independent contractors, Colleen Geddes and Sarah Stuecker have been hired as Project Coordinators to deliver the project, in consultation with LPAC and family members.
As a member of the Local Project Advisory Committee (LPAC), YAWC will lead this project over a 3-year period (2019-2021) in collaboration with partners and supporters. They include the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle, Liard Aboriginal Women's Society, Kwanlin Dun First Nation, Teslin Tlingit Council, MMIWG family members, City of Whitehorse, and Yukon Government Women's Directorate. The project is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada.
Due to COVID-19, the project workplan has been modified with family engagement taking place primarily through an information booklet mailout and interviews conducted by the Project Coordinators. This process will inform and guide the artist to create sketches of the monument/memorial that reflect the wishes of the families. Around February 2021, MMIWG family members will select the final monument/memorial to be created by the artist. An unveiling ceremony is expected in July 2021.
Family Engagement Process
Colleen Geddes is a Teslin Tlingit Citizen, former coordinator of the Jackson Lake healing camp and a longtime social and justice worker. She will be reaching out to MMIWG family members to inform and help them through the engagement process, starting with respectfully gathering their ideas and thoughts on a monument/memorial.
Sarah Stuecker is helping Colleen organize the information booklet mailouts, consultation sessions and will be coordinating any gatherings, promotions and the final unveiling event at the end of the process.
Coordinators' Fall Update
In early September 2020, the Project Coordinators started the family engagement process. In order to gather thoughts and ideas from as many family members as possible, a comprehensive information package was mailed out to everyone whom YAWC had contact with. The package contained a booklet with pictures of monuments and installations from around the world and some questions. The goal of the booklet is to inspire families to think about what a monument/memorial for Yukon’s MMIWG could look like. It concludes by asking families to complete a survey to input their thoughts to the process. The survey can be completed physically and mailed back, completed over the phone with the coordinators, or completed online via surveymonkey. Feedback from family members on the booklet has been positive.
The Coordinators will continue to follow up with families throughout October to help with the survey.
In addition to the booklet mailout, the Coordinators were invited to attend a MMIWG On the Land Healing Camp at Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp near Haines Junction. Family participants had the chance to meet the Coordinators and familiarize themselves with the engagement process. Around a campfire we gathered to share stories and fill out some of the questionnaires.
What Do You Think?
- Are you a MMIWG family member from Yukon or Northern BC?
- Would you like to learn more about the engagement process of this project?
- Would you like to receive a survey or chat with one of the Coordinators to input your thoughts on the design of the monument/memorial?
If yes, please contact Colleen by email or phone: