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Red Dress Day : 'Her name will never go unheard in Maskwacis'

Jordie Ermineskin explains the pain of losing a loved one to murder
Jordie Ermineskin's mother was murdered in a residence in Ermineskin Cree Nation on Dec. 9, 2020.

Jordie Ermineskin says although someone was convicted for the slaying of his mother, it hasn't made the pain go away. 

"There is no fairness to murder. There is no justice even if someone is convicted," Ermineskin told a room of mostly women at a Red Dress Day conference held in Maskwacis on May 8. 

Ermineskin's mother, 47, was found deceased in a home on Ermineskin Cree Nation on Dec. 9, 2020, having sustained visible injuries.

A few weeks later, Kaydence Clarke Roasting, (18 at the time) of the Ermineskin Cree Nation, was arrested and charged with second degree murder. On Jan. 12, 2023, Roasting was sentenced to five years in jail for manslaughter, minus pre-trial custody time served.

Ermineskin said he was glad the conference was being held, so people don't forget about the victims, as well as those left behind. 

"Her name will never go unheard in Maskwacis because this is where her life was taken."

Ermineskin said the grief of losing his mother to such violence is a different, unexplainable feeling that he wouldn't wish on anyone, adding he has a lot of hurt and anger towards those involved.

One or more persons could have called an ambulance for his mother, but no one did, he said. 

According to the Ontario Native Women's Association, Indigenous women are six times more likely than a non-Indigenous woman to be murdered in Canada.

" 'Murder' is a hard word to say, but it's real — it's real in Maskwacis, it's real in my family and it's a wound that's hard to heal," said Ermineskin.

He added it will be painful when he has to explain to his son someday how his kokum (grandmother) died. 

Ermineskin said days that are particularly hard are Dec. 9, when she died, Red Dress Day, May 5, and her birthday, July 4. 

"Even though I say those days hurt, every day hurts."

Other topics discussed during the day-long event included how to stay safe, having pride in your Indigenous identity and self-care, and parenting skills. 


Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I'm a reporter for Ponoka News and have lived in Ponoka since 2015.
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