The Native Women’s Association of Canada’s “Sisters in Spirit” staged Montreal’s first-ever candlelight vigil for murdered and missing aboriginal women in the city’s downtown October 4.

CKUT Radio Native Solidarity News producer Irkar Beljaars, who helped organize the event, described the gathering as intimate, drawing 35 to 40 people.

Ellen Gabriel of the Quebec Native Women’s Association delivered a speech, as did Theresa Ducharme from NWAC and Piper Huggins of the NDPIn the crowd were members of various student groups and Native associations; many curious passersby were also drawn to the event.

“There were a lot of people there didn’t know about it and just were passing by and just sat down and listened to all of the speeches,” said Beljaars. “They were very concerned and came up to me afterwards and thanked me for organizing the event which is going to be just one in many that I am going to be doing for Native women.”