11TH Annual Day of Mourning – Remembering Victims of the Sex Trade

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm, Pleasant Hill Park, 21st Street and Avenue U South, Saskatoon

It all started a decade ago, with a group of at-risk Saskatoon youth who were inspired by the tragic death of one victim—a 14-year old girl exploited through the sex trade and murdered in Calgary—to honour and remember all such victims, those lost on and to our streets. Every year since, youth gather at EGADZ to organize this Day of Mourning, to honour the children, women, and men who have lost their lives through involvement in the exploitation that is the sex trade in Saskatoon. Through the efforts of these committed young people, August 14th is officially recognized by the Government of Saskatchewan as the Day of Mourning to honour those who have lost their lives to murder, suicide, overdose, and disease related to the sex trade.

This year’s Day of Mourning events begin on Saturday, August 14 at 6:30pm in Pleasant Hill Park, at 21st Street and Avenue U South in Saskatoon. Please join us in marking this occasion with greetings,prayers, memorials, blessings by Elders, music, and a candlelight vigil and march down 20th and 21st Streets, through the area where the sex trade is most prolific. The ceremony features a reading of the victims’ names, and stories from “the street.” Performers include enigmatic dancer Leslie Paul and the haunting vocal stylings of Mike Scott, whose lyrics are inspired by those mourned (listen to Mike’s 2009 Day of Mourning song, performed with Jessica, at http://www.myspace.com/dayofmourning2009).

This year, we are honoured to host His Honour the Honourable Dr. Gordon L. Barnhart, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan who, along with Chief Clive Weighill of the Saskatoon Police and City Councillor Pat Lorje, will bring greetings. The Youth Committee will read a written commendation from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. The evening culminates in a communal meal of stories and memories over Beth’s homemade soup and Nora’s famous bannock.

We—the youth organizers of this event—are youth who have all been touched—directly or indirectly—by the people whose lives have been lost. We organize this event every year to remember the victims, to support the families left behind, and to give strength back into the community. The event also helps to educate people about the root causes of the sex trade, while educating high-risk youth about the very
real dangers involved.

The 11th Annual Day of Mourning is a public event, and we invite one and all to join us in honouring the victims on this very important occasion. Together, we can create a feeling of hope, dignity, and self respect out of these tragedies by affirming our commitment and concern for the victims, making sure that they and their families know they are part of a caring community.

For more information, contact:
301-1st Avenue North, Saskatoon SK S7K 1X5
t: 306.931.6644 | c: 306.221.5491 | e: trina@egadz.ca | w: http://www.egadz.ca/Day-of-Mourning.html

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