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'She'd be right beside me': Families of MMIWG2S+ hold conference to find healing
REGINA -- Patricia Pratt thinks about her daughter Denise every day, since she died tragically in 1996 at the age of 20.
"My daughter, I know in my heart, is in the spirit world,” Pratt said. “She's not hurting."
Pratt said her daughter was sexually abused as a child by a former member of their family and when she got older, she turned to drugs to deal with her pain.
"I've blamed myself for 23 years and I still do because maybe if I would have been stronger she'd be here, or we wouldn’t even be sitting here," Pratt said.
Pratt is one of many who attended a conference for the loved ones of missing or murdered Indigenous women and two spirited peoples.
The conference is called “Being Together gives us Solace.”
"A lot of our culture and our ways of knowing as Indigenous people involve medicines and the ceremonies and the teachings that go hand in hand with the situations that arise in our communities,” Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis of All Nations Hope Network said. “We need to look for those solutions from an indigenous way of viewing what is happening in our families."
Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and two sprinted people organized the conference to share stories about loved ones and their journeys to heal from their pain.
At the conference, Maxine Goforth reflected on her daughter Kelly Goforth, who was murdered six years ago.
"Kelly would be right beside me,” Goforth said. “I was thinking about that today. She'd be right beside me. She'd be saying ‘way to go mom, it’s okay mom’ she was like that. She was always encouraging."