Lorelei is an inspiring St’at’imc/Sts‘Ailes woman in the Vancouver community who works passionately to build understanding of and awareness of the murdered and missing Aboriginal women both in our communities and across the country. Her work as an Outreach Coordinator builds empathy between communities, by reminding us that these women are someone’s mother, daughter, aunt, cousin, niece or grandchild.
Her work is from a very personal and brave place, as Lorelei’s family includes the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The DNA of her cousin, Tanya Holyk, was found on Robert Pickton’s farm, and her Aunt Belinda Williams has been missing since 1978. Two other family members have also survived attacks.
As well as organizing events and candlelight vigils for murdered and missing women at places such as Crab Park, she is also the director of a dance group called Butterflies in Spirit. Butterflies in Spirit perform a dance to raise awareness towards the outrageous and systematic victimization of Aboriginal Women in Canada, and to Women in general in the DTES. The group encourages people to take a stand with them, and show support in the healing process they hope to generate as a follow up to the awareness.
Lorelei understands many people are still not aware of this issue, and her hard work is spreading the message to many people in our city as well as across the country. Her courage to build this awareness from such a traumatic and heart breaking place is a glowing example of genuine resilience.