First Nations Peoples’ Coalition to Hold Vigil at Ambassador Bridge in Effort to Stop Human Trafficking

Published November 8, 2019

Republished November 15, 2019

DETROIT — First Nations Peoples’ Coalition to End Human Trafficking (Coalition) announces its upcoming ceremony and prayer vigil, on Saturday, November 16th, 2019, “Building Bridges with No Borders, Ceremony & Prayer Vigil.”

The purpose of this all-day event is to honor the victims and survivors of human trafficking in prayer lead by First Nations Peoples of Canada and the United States. Secondly, to develop strategic plans to end International human trafficking and finally build a database of all organizations and partnerships working towards anti-human trafficking efforts.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2017, regarding specifically the U.S and Canadian border trafficking activities, “Human trafficking is difficult to measure, due in part to its hidden nature. While there has been an increase in the number of human trafficking incidents reported by police in recent years, human trafficking remains highly underreported…”.

To address the possible reasons for this, the Coalition has publicly called elders, knowledge-keepers, survivors, supportive agencies, and community members on both sides of the borders to come together and participate in remembrance and ceremony. Survivors from the frontlines of human trafficking have offered to share their horrific stories of violence, torture and slavery.

“Our relatives are going missing every day. We need to come together as a community in prayer, ceremony and balance. We need to find solutions and work together to stem the tide of violence, women, men, youth, children, elders, allies, and settlers- all working together in prayer, learning educating, sharing, gaining, knowledge to stop the violence, this gathering is to develop an action plan,” states Suzanne Smoke, Anishinaabe.

The Sponsors/Partners of “Building Bridges not Borders Ceremony & Prayer Vigil” include: American Indian Movement Michigan, American Indian Movement Southern Ontario Support Group, Biindigen Healing and Arts (of Ontario), the All Nations Veterans Council in Detroit, Michigan and Women of All Red Nations.

The Ceremony and Prayer Vigil will with two main gathering points; one in Detroit, Michigan and the other in Windsor, Ontario Canada. This will begin with a Sunrise Ceremony and Prayer Vigil. At 10:00 am will begin the Ambassador Bridge Prayer Walk where both sides will unite. Those from the Canadian side that can proceed to the  First Nations Peoples’

The Coalition will then participate with the potluck feast and strategic planning session in Detroit, Michigan.

“This is a prayer in motion. These Interstates bound our nations commercially but also socially. By this we have a shared responsibility to our relatives that are forcefully transported from one country to another. These are not just random abductions. Human trafficking is part of a greater system operating between Nations. This makes it an international issue, and we have to look at why it is not treated as one,” remarked Corine Fairbanks, Oglala Lakota.

The Coalition knows that it will take more than this one time gathering to find answers to ending International Human Trafficking. This ceremony and prayer vigil invites people of all backgrounds to step forward towards ending human trafficking. The Coalition will facilitate a series of presentations, educational workshops, and more ceremony with
spiritual medicine people in the near future.

For more information about times of the varies gathering points for “Building Bridges not Borders Ceremony & Prayer Vigil” on Saturday, November 16, 2019, or to find out how you can help be involved please contact: Canada: Suzanne Smoke, 905-960-7144, biindigenhealingandarts@gmail.com or in Detroit, MI: Wayne Hardwick, (810) 224-0424, waynehardwick55@gmail.com

 

 

First Nations Peoples’
Coalition to End International Human Trafficking -United States to Canada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2019
Contact: Canada: Suzanne Smoke, 905-960-7144,
biindigenhealingandarts@gmail.com
Detroit, MI: Wayne Hardwick, 810-224-0424,
waynehardwick55@gmail.com
First Nations Peoples’ Coalition to End Human Trafficking Plans International Day
of Ceremony, Prayer Vigil, Ambassador Bridge Walk, and Potluck Feast with a
Strategic Planning Session Honoring Trafficked Sisters and Brothers

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