PHOTOS: 3 women protest Curtis Sagmoen during Kelowna court appearance

Three women — Meagan Louis, Carol Laboucan and one who asked to remain anonymous — stood at the top of the Kelowna Law Courts’ steps on June 10, condemning Curtis Sagmoen and violence against women. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Three women — Meagan Louis, Carol Laboucan and one who asked to remain anonymous — stood at the top of the Kelowna Law Courts’ steps on June 10, condemning Curtis Sagmoen and violence against women. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Spread out on the staircase were numerous signs with messages calling for justice against Sagmoen and an end to violence. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Spread out on the staircase were numerous signs with messages calling for justice against Sagmoen and an end to violence. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Spread out on the staircase were numerous signs with messages calling for justice against Sagmoen and an end to violence. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Spread out on the staircase were numerous signs with messages calling for justice against Sagmoen and an end to violence. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Carol Laboucan, a Cree woman originally from Alberta, speaks to an observer. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Carol Laboucan, a Cree woman originally from Alberta, speaks to an observer. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Meagan Louis of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation holds her drum in the air. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Meagan Louis of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation holds her drum in the air. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
One of the activists, who did not want to be named, holds up a sign that reads “Speak up for those who can’t.” (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)One of the activists, who did not want to be named, holds up a sign that reads “Speak up for those who can’t.” (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Louis’s dress honours missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit (MMIWG2S). (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)Louis’s dress honours missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit (MMIWG2S). (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
One of the activists, who did not want to be named, raises her fist in the air. In the foreground is a shoe, one of many placed on the same steps in honour of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)One of the activists, who did not want to be named, raises her fist in the air. In the foreground is a shoe, one of many placed on the same steps in honour of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
One of the activists, who did not want to be named, raises her fist in the air. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)One of the activists, who did not want to be named, raises her fist in the air. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
The three women call for an end to violence against women. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)The three women call for an end to violence against women. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

During Curtis Sagmoen’s virtual hearing scheduled at Kelowna Law Courts on Thursday (June 10), three women stood at the top of the courthouse’s steps, condemning Sagmoen and violence against women.

Sagmoen was in court on charges related to his alleged assault of a police officer October 2020 near Falkland. The incident coincided with the execution of a search warrant at his parent’s Salmon River Road property.

The three women — Meagan Louis, Carol Laboucan and one who asked to remain anonymous — identified themselves as members of the Red Warriors and the Okanagan Sisters groups. Each wore red in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit (MMIWG2S).

On the same flight of steps, children’s shoes and stuffed animals sat just a few feet away from the women, placed there in honour of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

“We are here to stand for all the missing and murdered,” said Laboucan, a Cree woman originally from Alberta.

“In light of the 215 children that were found in Kamloops, we need to understand that the issue for murdered and missing stems from the residential schools. This is a ripple effect and people need to know that.”

Spread out on the staircase were numerous signs with messages calling for justice against Sagmoen and an end to violence. A red dress — a symbol for missing and murdered MMIWG2S — was tied to the staircase’s railing.

“When you see red dresses, it symbolizes each woman that is no longer with us. The colour red is the colour of their blood that has spilt,” said Louis, who is from the Cheslatta Carrier Nation. “When you see red, I hope you think of all the blood that has been shed on Canada, in Canada.

There were also images of five women — Ashley Simpson, Caitlin Potts, Deanna Wertz, Traci Genereaux and Nicole Bell — who all went missing in the Shuswap/North Okanagan area.

“These are five women in that area, the ones that we know of, that are missing. They’re still missing. No signs of any of these women,” said Louis.

Sagmoen’s 10-hectare family farm, located on Salmon River Road, became the subject of an extensive police search on Oct. 19, 2017, where the remains of the missing 18-year-old Genereaux were found. Although her death was deemed suspicious, no charges have been laid.

In addition to performing drum songs, the three women also repeated a number of chants, such as “No more stolen sisters,” “Speak up for those who can’t,” “Gone but not forgotten” and “We are not disposable.”

Louis said that she and the other two women are in Kelowna to give a voice to the women whose voices were taken from them.

“We stand here. We stand up for these women… We want justice now,” she said. “No more violence against women. We are against violence against marginalized women — against all women.”

Sagmoen’s assault matter will return in the Vernon Courts on June 16 to fix the date for an estimated five-day long trial.

With files from Brendan Shykora

READ MORE: ‘There needs to be more accountability’: Protesters impatient with Sagmoen court process

READ MORE: Sagmoen’s charge of assaulting police officer adjourned in Vernon court


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

Most Read