Sisters in Spirit Day 2023

Sisters in Spirit Day 2023
Posted on 10/03/2023
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Sisters in Spirit Day is a time to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people, to support their families and loved ones in their grief, and to be a voice for the implementation of societal change in Canada. Originally the name of an initiative launched by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) in 2005, the Sisters in Spirit program prepared and submitted a final report to the United Nations describing the devaluation of Indigenous women, and the disproportionate levels of violence against them.


The findings of Amnesty International concluded that the scale and severity of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls in Canada constitutes a national human rights crisis. They supported the NWAC in calling for a national inquiry which would provide an effective forum for the report findings to be heard, and their recommendations implemented. The consequent national inquiry, which concluded in 2019, issued 231 calls to action. To date, two of these calls to action have been completed.


The calls for educators, 11.1 & 11.2, include:

  • Educating and providing awareness to the public about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people, and about the issues and root causes of violence they experience. All curriculum development and programming should be done in partnership with Indigenous peoples, especially Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Such education and awareness must include historical and current truths about the genocide against Indigenous Peoples through state laws, policies, and colonial practices.
  • Developing and implementing awareness and education programs for Indigenous children and youth on the issue of grooming for exploitation and sexual exploitation.


All Alberta teachers are expected to meet the Teaching Quality Standard (TQS) throughout their careers. The fifth TQS outlines the expectations for applying foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people in the classroom. The High Prairie School Division’s Indigenous Education Coach (IEC) team recently won a provincial award for their innovative approach to infusing Indigenous teachings into its curriculum. While Indigenous culture forms an integral part of the division's ethos, events like Sisters in Spirit, National Ribbon Skirt Day, Moose Hide Campaign Day, and MMIP serve as recognized platforms to honour Indigenous women and girls, and enhance awareness and engagement on the issues of disproportionate violence, practicing respect, and supporting one another.

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