The Town of Okotoks is hosting a Pipe Ceremony to honour the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples.

The ceremony will happen in Ethel Tucker Park on Sunday, May 5th, and there will be a special guest speaker.

Blackfoot Elder Ruth Scalp Lock is a residential school survivor from Siksika First Nation, and founded the Awo Taan Native Healing Lodge, which is a safe space for Indigenous women and children who are escaping from abuse, and will be the speaker at the event.

'Awo Taan' is Blackfoot for Shield, which was a name first given to Lock's grandmother, Margaret Bad Boy, in 1930, as it recognized her role as a protector of women and children.

Everyone is invited to attend, and people are encouraged to bring offerings to pay respect to all the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples, as Ethel Tucker Park is the Town's memorial site for those who were murdered or are missing.

Ethel Tucker Park also pays respect to residential school victims, survivors, and anyone who has been or continues to be affected by the residential school system.

The Pipe Ceremony will run from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and there will be berry soup and Bannock available for snacks.

To learn more about the ceremony, either head over to the Town's website or call 403-542-0479.