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Spirit Walk up Mount Royal raises funds for Native Women's Shelter
Published Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:04PM EDT Last Updated Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:44PM EDT
Hundreds of people hiked up Mount Royal on Saturday to raise awareness for indigenous issues.
Coming a week after the final report into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women that said the Canadian government had taken part in genocidal action against native peoples, the walk was particularly moving.
Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Women's Shelter, pointed out while the report identified many problems, it also offered solutions.
"The thing is that I testified at Missing and Murdered, so a lot of the stuff that's in the report, specifically to Quebec, is stuff that I've said," said Nakuset.
One aspect mentioned in the report is the chronic underfunding for women's shelters, something that Saturday's walk is attempting to offset.
Nakuset said that non-native people need to read and implement the suggestions made in the final document.
"Did the SPVM read it? Did the institutions involved read it? And if they did, are they going to make change? Change is really hard. If they're set in their ways, saying this is the way it needs to be, I don't care about your report, that's going to stay the same," said Nakuset.
Participants took in traditional and contemporary music from the native community and an elder recited a prayer before the group marched to Beaver Lake.
The annual Spirit Walk raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Native Women's Shelter in Montreal, and donations are still being accepted.
Adam Kovac contributed to this report