A set of three plaques have been unveiled in each of the community’s three districts, in a powerful statement of honour to all the missing and murdered people of Akwesasne.

The project was coordinated by the staff of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Family Wellness Program (AFWP). The Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women movement has grown across Canada and the AFWP wanted to have something locally that paid tribute to all missing persons, men, women and children.

The three plaques have been unveiled at the A’nowara’kowa Arena, the Tsi Snaihne Recreation and the Kana:takon Recreation. Each plaque has been erected over a bench and sitting area, to allow community members to sit and remember those who have been taken.

“Victims deserve to be remembered, and these plaques ensure that there is a special place for them always in our community,” said Kawehno:ke District Chief Vanessa Adams.

In planning for the event, the project team selected a painting by the late artist Brad Bonaparte to be featured on all three plaques. The painting features two red moccasins, one which is unfinished. The painting is called “The Unfinished Life” and it was one of the artist’s final works of art, never fully completed.

At the final plaque unveiling on August 28th held at the Kana:takon Recreation, the family of the late Brad Bonaparte attended with a gracious donation – the original painting. Organizers were stunned and thankful for the gift and will find a safe and prominent location to display it.

Nia:wenkowa to Mr. Bonaparte’s family.

If you have a missing or murdered loved one, an event is taking place on September 18th to assist you and provide you with resources. The Families of Missing and Murdered Relatives Information Session will take place from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Kana:takon Recreation. Topics include: How to report a missing person; Importance of DNA and How to Submit; Association of Families of Missing and Murdered Relatives information; and Victim Services and Community Resources. To register for this free event, please contact the Akwesasne Family Wellness Program at 613-937-4322, the Akwesasne Community Justice Program at 613-575-5000 or the Akwesasne Mohawk Police at 613-575-2340.