Families of MMIW remember loved ones on Valentine's Day
- EFN Staff | February 14, 2017
Many will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with their loved ones, but for the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, they will be marking the day by attending events to honour the memories of those who left this world too soon or have yet to be found.
February 11th marks 10 years since Danita Bigeagle went missing in Regina. It’s a day that her mother does not celebrate the memory of her daughter but instead she joins other families on February 14th.
“We really miss her…she would never leave her children,” says Diane Bigeagle, mother of Danita. “She was a good mother. Her kids really loved her.”
Danita left behind a 9-month old son and a 3-year-old daughter at the time. Although they were young when their mother went missing, the memory of her is kept alive through pictures in the kids’ bedrooms.
“They missed her for such a long time. The kids would cry for her and I couldn’t do nothing about it but be there for them. I have them and they have me,” she says. “When we go down Albert Street, [Danita’s] picture comes up on the [missing persons] billboard and they both say ‘mommy’.”
She is the primary caregiver of her two grandchildren and says that the memory of her daughter lives on through her two children. After Danita’s disappearance, Bigeagle is overprotective of her grandchildren and doesn’t allow them to walk to school and says she is always by their sides.
“It made me more protective of them. I’m always aware of people around me,” she admits.
Although her daughter’s disappearance made her more cautious of her grandchildren’s surroundings, she wants to ensure the memories of Danita carry on through her children. Danita’s daughter Cassidy will be attending the annual MMIW event in Regina on the Albert Street bridge to honour her mother where families and friends will be holding pictures of their missing or murdered loved one. To end the event, heart-shaped balloons will be released into the air.
“We’re going to raise awareness for my daughter and for everyone else who has missing family members,” she says. “This will be an annual thing for us. Every February 14th, we are going to be on that bridge until my daughter comes home.”
Danita was 22-years-old was last seen in Regina on Feb. 11, 2007 in the 800 block of Victoria Avenue.