Family members of the late Roxanne Louie

Family members of the late Roxanne Louie

Sisters in Spirt vigil in Penticton spotlight murdered women

Twenty years ago on New Year’s Eve Dianne Stewart was murdered on the Penticton Indian Reserve — her killer has never been caught.

Twenty years ago on New Year’s Eve Dianne Stewart was murdered on the Penticton Indian Reserve — her killer has never been caught.

She was attending a party that night and left on foot, last seen walking along Green Mountain Road but it wasn’t until May her remains were found on the slope of Westhills.

Members of Stewart’s family will be speaking on Tuesday at the Sisters in Spirit Vigil at the Indian Band Community Hall which is part of nation-wide movement to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Along with the Stewart family, also speaking will be Bernie Williams, who is also known as Skundaal.

She is a survivor of the “60’s scoop” the residential school system and is a domestic abuse survivor.

For almost 30 years she has been a frontline worker in on Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside, often walking those streets in search of women in need of help.

These are the same streets where her mother, two sisters and brother were murdered.

She has been involved in campaigns to get justice for missing and murdered women since 1986.

“This event is about raising awareness of the missing and murdered aboriginal women and children, as well as the over-representation of female aboriginal victims,” said Amberlee Erdmann, Resource Development Coordinator from the South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society (SOVAS) in a news release. “We invite community members to stand in solidarity for the loved ones we have lost and to show your support to the friends and family of victims.

“Walk for Dianne Stewart. Walk for Olive Hill, an 85-year-old Penticton woman who was smothered to death and raped. Walk for Roxanne Louie, a 26-year-old mother of a three-year-old boy who was murdered in Penticton in 2015. Walk for the hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women.”

(Read more: Louie’s story similar to similar to others across Canada)

On that night there will be a dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by the keynote speakers at 6:30 p.m. then Herman Edwards will perform on the flute and the Tuesday Night Drum Circle will play the Women’s Warrior song.

The night will conclude with a march to the Okanagan River Channel and a candlelight vigil. Transportation will be provided for those who require it.

“Aboriginal women are at higher rates of poverty, have fewer resources and support, and often live in isolating situations,” said Leslie Fabriz, Community Outreach Services from the Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency House (ONTEH) in the release. “The Sister in Spirit Vigil is a movement for social change and a reminder that our sisters and loved ones will not be forgotten.”

Police statistics show the rate of victimization among aboriginal females is close to three times higher than non-aboriginal females.

From 1980 to 2012 police-reported incidents of missing and murdered aboriginal females were 1,017.

The Indian Band Community is located at 841 Westhills Dr. and everyone is welcome.


Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read