Woman using her family tragedy to raise awareness about Indigenous resilience
At 38 years old, Fallon Farinacci is the oldest living member of her immediate family.
“Both my parents were murdered when I was nine years old and my older brother committed suicide when he was 29,” she said during an interview with CTV Morning Live on Thursday.
“So I wanted to start this fundraiser, because I am officially the oldest living member of my family. Today is the date that I surpassed my father’s age when he passed away.”
Farinacci’s parents, Sherry and Maurice Paul were murdered in St. Eustache, Man., in 1993 at the ages of 36 and 37. She was nine years old at the time of their deaths. Her brother died by suicide in 2004.
Farinacci, a child survivor of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), said she wants to give back to Indigenous women and youth -- which is why she started the ‘Celebrate Indigenous Resilience – Thirty-Eight’ fundraiser.
“Myself, being displaced from my community, it was really important for me to give back and to inspire Metis youth to reclaim their identity and to stand strong in who they are,” she said.
Farinacci originally set out to raise $3,800, but as of Thursday afternoon has received more than $90,000 in donations.
She said her goal now is to raise $114,000 with the money going to the Abbey House Transitional Home for Indigenous women in the Niagara, Ont., region, and the Manitoba Metis Federation, St. Eustache Local.
“I want people to know we’re still here, and there’s so much beauty in Indigenous cultures and heritage,” Farinacci said.
“I simply wanted to raise awareness and also show the beautiful side of Indigenous cultures while doing so as well.”
She noted that at one time her father, a proud Metis man, was the president of the St. Eustache Local.
“So for me to reclaim my Metis heritage and to stand proud is an honour to do that for him, but also to reclaim it for my children,” Farinacci said.
“I want them to know who they are and grow up to be very proud of who they are and all the ancestors that came before them.”
Donations to Farinacci’s fundraiser can be made online. https://www.gofundme.com/f/Celebrate-Indigenous-Resilience
- With files from CTV’s Michael Hutchinson.