A Prayer for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

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This post was originally published on Do Justice.

Annie Pootoogook.

Bella Laboucan-McLean.

Cheyenne Fox.

Jane Bernard.

Therese Labbe.

These Indigenous women and more than 1000 others have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since 1980. After years of persistent advocacy from the families and communities of these women, along with organizations like the Native Women’s Association of Canada, an inquiry has begun into their disappearances and deaths. What is causing the increased vulnerability of Indigenous women to this violence? How can we work together as a society to address the sources of this violence against Indigenous women?

The first hearings began in Whitehorse this spring, but the beginning of the inquiry has been marred by a lack of meaningful communication with families and the resignations of several key staff members. The inquiry’s interim report will come out in November.

The Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee of the Christian Reformed Church invites you to pray along with us for the inquiry and all affected:

Creator God, we pray for Love. We thank you for the love that these families and communities hold for their daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, cousins, and friends. We mourn with them. We pray for all those who lives are marked by trauma because of these murders and disappearances. Hold them in love, Abba. Catch every tear that falls.

Creator God, we pray for Honesty. May those who have information about the whereabouts of these women and girls be moved to share it.

Creator God, we pray for Humility. Give Canadians the humility to open their hearts to hear stories from this country that are not celebratory; stories of colonization, racism, and marginalization.

Creator God, we pray for Wisdom. May the leaders of the inquiry and all those who direct them have the wisdom that comes only from you to listen deeply and make wise recommendations, so that we may all heal together.

Creator God, we pray for Respect. May the families who share their pain and perspectives with the inquiry be treated with respect—may the inquiry be centered on their needs.

Creator God, we pray for Truth. These stories are far from simple and clear-cut. May the truth of the impacts that Indigenous women bear become clear.

Creator God, we pray for Courage. For families and community members testifying. For inquiry commissioners crafting recommendations. For civil society organizations holding the inquiry to its mandate. For Canadians, as we prepare to listen to these stories and to advocate for action on its recommendations. For our political leaders, as they prepare to respond to the recommendations.   

To learn more about this pattern of violence and continue praying for all those affected, download a prayer guide from the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee's toolkit. 

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