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On June 24, 2019, the Department of Women and Gender Equity announced that the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre was a successful recipient of the federal Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund. 

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund was designed to support Indigenous organizations to work with families, survivors and communities to develop and implement commemoration initiatives and honour the lives and legacies of local women and girls who have been so tragically taken. 

About the Friendship Centre’s MMIWG Mural Project: At the Heart
A Healing Journey

Through this project, the Friendship Centre will produce a mural on our main street building (situated in downtown Smithers) to honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls from the communities of Smithers, Witset, and surrounded areas situated along Highway 16 (The Highway of Tears).

However, this project is not only designed to produce a mural. It is a healing journey. One of the key goals of the project is to ensure families can move through a trauma informed process. Throughout the project, the Friendship Centre will hold a series of healing trauma-informed design process workshops for the families with high-quality trauma informed Indigenous counsellors. 

Selected artists will attend the workshops and witness the families’ journey. The artists will work attentively to ensure that the correct protocols are followed. Through this project, by harnessing the power of public art, we hope to bring the community together, both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous, to honour the women and girls and their families and to heal.

“This project is extremely important and is in fact crucial for much needed community healing. We have deliberately designed the project to support families to move through an authentic, culturally safe, highly supported trauma informed process, harnessing the positive and transformative power of artistic expression for healing.” ~ Annette Morgan, Executive Director of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre

Project Activities:

1. A series of Indigenous land and body-centred trauma-informed healing workshops

2. Mural Painting

3. Commemorative signage and information station development

4.Community engagement and commemoration community event (unveiling of the mural)

Our Team

Annette Morgan: Executive Director, Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre

Elmira Sanati Nia: Project Coordinator | Holistic Health Worker at Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre

Lydia Howard: Housing Advisor and Economic Development Officer

Charrine Lace: Family Gatherings Worker, Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society

Sandra Harris:  Indigenous Focusing Complex Trauma (IFOT) practitioner’

Raven-Tacuara Collective: Stephanie AndersonAmanda Hugon, Facundo Gastiazoro, Travis Hebert.


For more information and media inquiries, please email: holistic.health@dzelkant.com