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No more stolen sisters: Ceremony in Quesnel to honour spirit of murdered Indigenous woman

Traffic control will be in place
Takla First Nation shared the announcement of the loss of Carmelita Abraham, seen in this undated photo, late Friday, Jan. 14. Chief John French says family will be gathering at the Willow Inn in Quesnel on Thursday, Jan. 20 for grief and letting the spirit go smudge ceremony. (Facebook photo)

Everyone is invited to join First Nations from across northern B.C. who will be making the drive to Quesnel early today (Thursday, Jan. 20) where a ceremony will be held for a young Indigenous woman found murdered.

“It’s not only honouring Carmelita, it’s honouring all of the Indigenous women,” said Rick Abraham, her brother.

“Violence against women needs to stop, and people need to know it’s not right whether it’s Indigenous or non-Indigenous— women don’t deserve to be battered.”

Joseph Simpson, 51, of Quesnel, was arrested and charged in the disappearance and subsequent homicide of Abraham’s sister on Friday, Jan. 14.

Abraham called her death tragic.

“My sister didn’t have to go through something like this,” he said.

Read More: Investigation into missing Indigenous woman leads to homicide charge against Quesnel man

Read More: Community marches in Nazko to honour, remember MMIWG

The ceremony at the Willow Inn, where Carmelita’s body was found, will begin at 1 p.m. and be led by the Takla and Nazko First Nations.

Everyone is encouraged to wear red, paint their face with a red handprint to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) or wear their regalia.

“Remember to be respectful and honour the ceremony that we’re doing,” Abraham said.

Traffic control by RCMP will be in place.

Proceeds from a raffle for a one-of-a-kind ribbon skirt by Gladys Michell and Shelly Samuels will support Carmelita’s family with funeral arrangements and the young daughter she leaves behind.

Tickets are $20 and will be available until 12 p.m. Jan. 20. To purchase one email

-With files from Monica Lamb-Yorski

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