Memorial honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women removed from Selkirk bridge
Published Thursday, May 18, 2017 5:15PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, May 18, 2017 5:50PM CST
A Selkirk woman is shocked and disappointed over the removal of ribbons as part of a Red Cloth Memorial honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The red ribbons tied to the railings of the East Selkirk Bridge back in October were found ripped off and strewn across the ground.
Campaign organizer Jeannie Red Eagle said she first heard about the damage from Selkirk MLA Alan Lagimodiere.
“I believe it was through an act of violence by someone who just isn’t aware of the significance of what the ribbons mean to aboriginal people,” Red Eagle said. “The ribbons were also removed just north of here, along the Highway 4 bridge where we also tied ribbons.”
Red Eagle said the ribbons tied on the East Selkirk Bridge were likely ripped off late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
“It’s no different than having someone destroying a white cross with a wreath on it along the highway,” Red Eagle said. “It’s no different than that. We would never do that.”
"It speaks to the issue of needing a public awareness campaign of the nature of why we hang these ribbons, why it's so personal to us because these are our family members who have been missing and murdered. This is what we do to commemorate them.”
It’s not the only example of damage being done to Red Cloth Memorials.
“The Fire Heart Women’s Traditional Drum Group had also set up red dresses and red ties,” Red Eagle explained. “Those were removed in the middle of the night, two nights after they were hung up.”
Red Eagle said the red ribbons will be replaced.
She said people from across the Interlake have expressed interest in taking part in the retying effort.