Memorial Marches for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

End Colonial Justice! Uphold the Rights of All!

On February 14, marches are organized across Canada by the friends and families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, with participation from people who stand with Indigenous Peoples in asserting their right to be. These marches honour the lives of those murdered or missing and demand justice and an end to state-organized violence against Indigenous Peoples.

This is the 32nd year that these marches have taken place. The first, in Vancouver in 1992, paid tribute to a woman murdered in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood and demanded justice. Between the first Memorial March and the one in 2019 more than 970 names had been added to the list of women who have gone missing or been murdered in this neighbourhood alone.

As women prepare for this year's memorial march, top of mind are the four Indigenous women brutally murdered in Winnipeg in 2022, whose remains were discarded in garbage dumps, and the fight of their families for justice and dignity for their loved ones. They were among ten Indigenous women murdered in that city last year.

From November 2015 -- when the Trudeau government came to power with its promises to end the violence and establish a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples -- to the end of 2021, at least 227 Indigenous women and girls have been murdered. The number of those missing and murdered is a damning indictment of the government's refusal to act.

These killings and disappearances take place under conditions of racist violence and genocidal infringements on treaty and hereditary rights under the guise of lofty ideals. Genocidal aims have imbued the official colonial policy towards Indigenous Peoples since the creation of Canada, in which Indigenous women in particular are considered easy prey. These crimes must end and Canada must redress them and uphold nation-to-nation relations with the Indigenous Peoples.

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 2 - February 2023

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