Nearly a hundred people gathered at Coulter Parkette in Port Elgin today to remember the 14 women who were killed by a gunman in 1989 at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, and a local girl named Maisy Odjick who went missing 10 years ago.
The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Southport Chapter hosted the event, as they have for nearly 30 years.
CFUW Southport member Cheryl Kryzaniwsky says that the vigil started because CFUW didn't want the memory of the Montreal Massacre to fade.
She says preventing violence against women is something we still grapple with as a society today, and that its important to remember these tragedies lest they ever be repeated.
Kryzaniwsky noted that the youth need to engage in these discussions and she commended students of Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) who gave a powerful performance about toxic domestic relationships, and the dangers they present during the ceremony.
Kryzaniwsky recalls a time during her teaching career where a male student asked what he shold be doing to help encourage a safe environment for women at school.
She says she told him that speaking out when he encounters injustice was the right thing to do, and she still supports that message to this day.
Members of Maisy Odjick's family attended the vigil. Her grandfather Vernon Roote spoke during the ceremony. He says the last time he spoke with her, she was excited to begin school at SDSS. She disappeared in September of 2008.
Kryzaniwsky says that is one of thousands of cases of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada that remain unresolved.
Today we mark #dec6 the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Let's work for a world free of #femicide.— Violence Prevention Grey Bruce (@VPGreyBruce) December 6, 2018
Vigils will be held in Owen Sound and Port Elgin#endvaw #stopvaw https://t.co/8CD4X6jFOp
December 6th is a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day marks the 28th Anniversary of 14 women senselessly murdered only because of their gender #NationalDayOfRemembrance #ssps2018 pic.twitter.com/5y6f0wSM3R— Saugeen Shores Police Service (@SSPSofficial) December 6, 2018