By Trevor Greyeyes
The No Stone Unturned Concert will be hosting it’s 11th year at the St. John’s Park starting at 1 pm on July 27.
Bernadette Smith has been one of the principal organizers of the No Stone Unturned Concert that started when she was trying to raise funds to offer a reward for information after her sister Claudette Osborne went missing July 28, 2008.
“When my sister went missing, there
was this guy Hector Menow from Norway House, where my sister is from,
he wanted to do something to help the family raise the reward money
for any information to bring Claudette home,” said Smith.
Menow is a prominent Cree musician who donated his time and talent in an effort that raised $13,000 originally.
When no one came forward, it was decided to keep on doing the concerts to help raise awareness and funds to help families in crises with a missing loved one.
Smith said that when her family tried to organize a search for her sister that the only people who showed up were her family. The same thing happened when Smith organized her first vigil.
For families, it can be a lonely and haunting time.
Smith and those who originally helped her decided to continue with the concerts as a means of addressing the ongoing crises that saw an increase in numbers of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada.
For Smith, it’s about connecting the community to the issue of the missing and murdered.
Now, to be more inclusive, the event is
about missing and murdered people.
Smith is looking forward to the event because No Stone Unturned is partnering with the North End Community Renewal Corporation.
“They’re going to be doing the first part of the event for children like face painting and other activities,” said Smith. There will also be some sort of bouncy contraption, children’s games and children’s entertainers throughout the day.
They plan to host a lunch for 2,000 people with hot dogs, chips and drinks.
The mainstage is where you will see some of the finest Indigenous entertainers perform donating their talents to the event.
In the evening, in the tradition of Indigenous people from this part of Turtle Island, a feast is planned as well.
Smith thanks the many partners and sponsors helping out with this event including major sponsor UNIFOR, Knysh Funeral Chapel, Atlas Pawn, City of Winnipeg and Atlas Auto.
There is still a need for volunteers to assist with the feast and cleanup.
If you need more information about the event or to find out about volunteering, call 204 792-8605.
Otherwise show up, have fun and show Smith and other families affected by being missing and murdered that they are not alone.