The group of local Prayer Walkers who are making their way across the country on foot to raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women have been honoured with the YMCA of Grey Bruce Peace Medallion.
Da-namaamin moseyang giw-ganchigaazjig kwewag is the Ojibway name of the group meaning "We will walk in prayer for those murdered women."
Local Family YMCA CEO Gayle Graham says "This group has been doing some amazing work as they've walked across the country."
The group set out in December of 2017 from Cape Croker and they have now reached Edmonton. They plan to return home for the winter and resume their walk again in the spring.
The group's leaders are E Naad Maa Get (Branden Emmerson), Niibin Kegadonce (Tianna Fillo) (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation) and Jacqueline Hines (Pennsylvania).
Graham says "This year, we were really pleased. We had four excellent nominations, but we were just delighted with the work of the Prayer Walkers."
Carlene Keeshig accepted the medallion Thursday (Nov22nd) provides strategic support back in Neyaashiinigmiing and is affectionately called the "Walk Mom."
Each day, the group members walk in prayer for a specific missing or murdered indigenous woman, they reflect on that woman's life, and also on the circumstances surrounding her death.
Peace Week is a nationwide YMCA event.
The medallion is presented to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, demonstrate a commitment to the values of peace through contributions made within their local, national or global community.
The YMCA says medal recipients demonstrate the values of:
Participation: getting involved and encouraging others to get involved in community building activities.
Empathy: Listening and understanding diverse perspectives to create a sense of belonging for all.
Advocacy: making the case for positive change in the community.
Community: building and strengthening community connections and capacity.
Empowerment: Inspiring others to foster peace and helping them gain the skills and tools to succeed.