Saskatoon, Canada – The Red Eagle Lodge in Saskatoon is now offering support and resources to family members of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The lodge provides a culturally safe space, legal consultations, and mental health resources to over 120 families through Family Information Liaison Units, with the aim of supporting even more in the future.
Executive Director Dorthea Swiftwolfe emphasized the importance of having a space for families to find calm before or after court, and to engage in cultural ceremonies such as smudging. With missing family members, there can be legal and financial struggles in addition to emotional trauma. This is why access to free legal support is crucial, as Swiftwolfe pointed out.
The lodge is federally funded and currently offers its services free of charge. It is also a space for people to gather, providing a supportive environment for families coping with the loss of a loved one to gather before and after court proceedings.
Moreover, the lodge aims to partner with organizations such as the Traditional Parenting Program, Kids First, and The Indigenous Law Society in the future. These partnerships would provide even more comprehensive support to those in need.
Vice Chief Aly Bear of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations spoke about the importance of the lodge in providing a space for people to gather and debrief, as well as the potential for Red Eagle Lodge to have its own building in the future.
Overall, the Red Eagle Lodge is filling a crucial gap in support services for Indigenous families in Saskatoon, offering a safe and culturally appropriate space for legal consultations, mental health resources, and gathering during difficult times.