They returned to the Fort St. John Friendship Centre for a large dinner, where families of victims spoke and traditional and healing dances were performed.

Sisters in Spirit organizer Connie Greyeyes says there are currently 11 missing or murdered women from Fort St. John, but adds she suspects that number is much higher. She says it is important to have this event annually to let the families of those missing know that the community still cares and is still looking for their loved ones.

“We want to have an avenue for these families so they can come and talk about it, because, I mean, you can’t carry it around with you, and once you do for so long you start to feel like everything’s closing in on you. Who cares? Who does care about my loved one?”

She mentions Jo Gunning, whose daughter was discovered as murdered earlier this year after being missing for six years. He told her being able to come here and express his love for her is like therapy in a way.

Sisters in Spirit vigils are held across the country every year on October 4 to raise awareness of the violence experienced by Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.