FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local advocate Connie Greyeyes had an unexpected opportunity to give Whoopi Goldberg with a symbolic gift that has brought remarkable awareness to a cause that is close to her heart.
Greyeyes shares that her path crossing with Goldberg was meant to be, yet was not planned. As Greyeyes was in Vancouver attending a workshop Thursday, December 12th, 2019, at the Four Seasons, was on a break from a session, her friend Farley Cardinal would spot and approach Whoopi.
Whoopi had expressed to the friends she was seeking out the scent she could smell in the hotel when the pair explained there were smudging ceremonies taking place during the workshop. They offered Goldberg this experience in which she accepted.
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Goldberg held space with Greyeyes, Cardinal, and the Ceremony People in which stories were shared about creation, where medicine comes from and how people are connected. Greyeyes shares, Goldberg listened intently and was respectful. The smudging took place and they prayed together.
During an opportunity for conversation, Golberg asked Greyeyes why she was in Vancouver. This let her share about the workshop she was attending yet also her main focus, her work/passion with ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls’ for the past 12 years.
Whoopi would then say to Greyeyes that she does not believe in chance encounters and the two were meant to meet. Whoopi had been thinking about the missing and murdered Native Americans in the USA, and that no one speaks about this and she wants to change that.
Cardinal would play the drum for Whoopi and sing her a song and at that time Greyeyes is compelled to remove a very significant medallion she was wearing, she shares she had not intended to wear the medallion that day, yet she did because of what the medallion represents.
The beaded medallion of a Jingle Dancer was commissioned from Manitoban Beader, Mish Daniels. The Dancer’s red coloured dress and details such as a black tip feather represent the ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls’.
Greyeyes presented the medallion to Goldberg for sharing space with them and recognizing the plight of Indigenous Women. Explaining to Goldberg the significance of the medallion, Greyeyes placed it around her neck and lifted her hair so it would sit properly.
Monday, December 16th and Tuesday, December 17th, 2019, Goldberg would wear and speak about the medallion on her talk show, The View, which created an opportunity for awareness for ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls’.
This has been the most unbelievable experience, shared Greyeyes and reminds her of the power of giving and how one small gesture could have such a ripple effect. She continues to say she never thought giving that medallion would bring focus and attention from millions as this has done over the past couple of days.
“My dad raised us to be generous and kind, and give selflessly of yourself,” said Greyeyes.