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Nurturing Spirits: Wellness Day for Families of MMIW+

On December 17, Indigenous Women Rise Society (IWRS) joined with the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) and Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre (SALAL) to host a heartwarming event: Wellness Day for Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW+). Held at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, this event brought together over 50 guests for a day filled with diverse performances and activities, fostering connection and healing.

The day was full of cultural experiences and healing practices. Attendees engaged in cedar brushing, creating cedar hearts and red dress pins—a powerful tribute to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. June Clearsky generously provided Lomi Lomi massages, while students from the Blanche MacDonald Centre donated their skills for manicures. Laughter yoga, led by Lyle Dixon, echoed through the halls, bringing joy to the space. Owl Aboard Catering treated us to delicious charcuterie boards before our lunch of NDN Tacos, adding a culinary delight to the day.

A variety of activities enriched the day, including medicine card readings, button making, energy healing, gingerbread house decorating, and more. Stand-up comic Brenda Prince, Juno Award-winning musician Murry Porter, and the vibrant JB First Lady and her First Ladies Crew graced the stage, providing captivating performances that uplifted spirits.

Gratitude extends to our partners, IRSSS and SALAL, for their collaboration in making this event possible. Special thanks to our performers—Brenda Prince, Murry Porter, JB First Lady and the First Ladies Crew—and to June Clearsky, Lyle Dixon, and the students from Blanche MacDonald for sharing their talents. A thank you as well to the Elders who lended cultural support and led us in prayer to open and close this event. Heartfelt appreciation also goes to our volunteers who dedicated their time, energy, and skills, making each activity seamless and enjoyable.

As we reflect on this Wellness Day, we express gratitude to everyone involved. Your contributions made this day a beautiful tapestry of support, resilience, and community spirit.

In Unity,

Indigenous Women Rise

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