Nine more names were added to a grim Saskatoon list last night, as about 50 people participated in a sex trade day of mourning.
About 50 people gathered Monday evening at Pleasant Hill School to remember the women, who were added to an 18-year-long list of 144 names.
The list honours the memory of women who died through murder, suicide, overdoses and disease related to the trade.
Candles were lit and memories shared as people walked down 20th and 21st Streets, which were chosen due to the visibility of sex workers in the area at night.
“I lost too many cousins over tragedies like this,” said Darnell Many Heads, who performed a poem he wrote in honour of all those lost.
“When I was writing it, it kinda took me away. Just the feelings, the expressions and how many are so gone and they’re not here today.”
He said the emotions put into it came from his own struggles and pain experienced while living on the streets.
“ I didn’t have it too good myself,” Many Heads said. “Most of my twenties I was on the streets, so I know how to relate to this cause.”
Mike Scott said he lost three sisters this year to overdoses.
The musician performed a song called “Day of Mourning,” which tries to convey the realities of being on the street and in the sex trade.
He hopes those who hear it will have a better understanding of what people face in the trade.
“It’s like society’s eye is looking at us,” he said. “They’re looking down upon us for the choices that have been made but they don’t understand.”
Scott mostly wants women in the trade to hear it though.
“I want them to know that they’re loved, that they’re needed, that they’re important, they’re special and they deserve to be happy.”