Honoring the 20th Anniversary of Sonya Nadine Mae

As the 20th Anniversary of the day Sonya Nadine Mae was found, community is gathering together to honor her spirit and raise more awareness about the issues of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. A reminder of an issue that has been happening for decades.

A portrait of who Sonya was has been compiled by the family, a reminder of her life, who she was and still is to many people.

Sonya’s tribute is available for viewing here.

This portrait has been included on the recently launched website (www.ItStartsWithUsmmiw.com) for missing and murdered Indigenous women; including the community database which will document Indigenous women, Two-Spirit and Trans people who have gone missing, or died as a result of violence.

In addition to this tribute and to honor the memory of Sonya and other women who have been murdered or are still missing across Canada, Naomi, brother, Alex and Mag Cywick, along with the Whitefish River First Nation Band Council & Members and At^lohsa Native Family Healing Services, Inc. are planning to host a peaceful solidarity walk, evening vigil and feast in Whitefish River First Nation near Manitoulin Island and London. The emphasis is communal solidarity and healing within Indigenous communities. We want to bring awareness to our youth, our leaders of tomorrow.

Both events will be held on Saturday August 23rd. Mag Cywick will host the event in London and brother and sister Naomi and Alex at Whitefish River FN. Plans are in place to contact other families on Manitoulin Island, the North Shore and Southern Ontario First Nations who have a female relative who has lost her life to murder or is a missing person to attend. The public is welcome. Violence against women has touched us all; please join us to honor their lives.

Whitefish River First Nation: The community solidarity walk will begin at 5:15 p.m. followed by women’s hand drumming, an evening vigil at 7:15 p.m. concluding with a community feast at the Whitefish River Community Centre.

London: The evening vigil will begin in Ivey Park at 6:15 then a solidarity walk to end at At^lohsa Native Family Healing Centre on Richmond Street. The feast will be held at At^lohsa following a press conference.

Sonya’s Family Media Contact:
Mag Cywink
Phone: 434.848.5385
Email: mcywink@gmail.com

At^lohsa Native Family Healing Service, Inc:
Darlene Ritchie
Phone: 519.857.4798
Email: darleneritchie@atlohsa.com

Native Youth Sexual Health Network Media Contact:
Erin Konsmo, Media Arts Justice and Projects Coordinator
Phone: 587.873.4422
Email: ekonsmo@nativeyouthsexualhealth.com

AIAI is mandated as a Provincial Territorial Organization (PTO) to defend and enhance the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of our seven member First Nations. Our member nations include: Batchewana First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Delaware Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and the Wahta Mohawks. Learn more at www.aiai.on.ca, on Twitter@AIAI_comms and on Facebook.

For more information, please contact Suzanne Morrison at smorrison@aiai.on.ca or 519.281.6238.