North Battleford area residents showed their commitment to loved ones who are no longer with them on Valentine's Day by taking part in the second annual march to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Wednesday.
About 40 people attended the march this year, despite frigid temperatures, including traditional drummers and singers.
During the event, march organizer Keegan Beauchene, originally from Mistawasis First Nation, held a picture of his cousin Courtney Johnstone, a young Indigenous women who was murderedin 2014.
"I'm walking in her memory," Beauchene said. "It affects a lot of people. It's everywhere."
Participants met outside the Allen Sapp Gallery at 5 p.m. and covered a lengthy loop before returning back to the gallery. The city closed the roads and provided police escort to assist participants during the march.
Beauchene helped plan a soup and bannock meal for the walkers after the march, held at the Battleford Agency Tribal Chiefs building. He said the aim of the walk was to honour all Indigenous people who have been killed or are missing, including men.
"As we walk in solidarity for our women and men, we will stand in honour of our loved ones," Beauchene said.
Beauchene said this year he is also remembering Colten Boushie, a young man from Red Pheasant First Nation who was fatally shot during an incident in 2016.
"It's a day of love," he said. "I love Courtney lots ... and I love the Boushie family and hope for the best for them."
On Twitter: @battlefordsnow
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