The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter participated in the 7th annual Memorial March for Missing Murdered Women and Girls on Sunday.
Chapter activist Sally Livingston and her daughter participated in the march.
The Montreal Gazette reports, “Several hundred people braved frigid temperatures Sunday [Feb. 14] to take part in the 7th annual Memorial March for Missing Murdered Women and Girls. Coming on the heels of the launch of country-wide consultations for a national public inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, participants wanted to stress the need for the Trudeau government to recognize the historical roots of the systemic violence toward aboriginal women and take concrete measures to address it. This march, founded in Vancouver in 1991, first came about in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman that received little attention from police or media.”
The article notes, “In Quebec, marchers emphasized the recent allegations of police officers regularly physically and sexually abusing indigenous women in the area of Val d’Or. The march featured a Montreal version of the REDress project, inspired by the work of Métis artist Jaime Black, who hung red dresses in public spaces as a visual reminder of the missing women, while volunteers from the Native Friendship Centre created 1,200 inukshuks.”
CBC adds, “Former Native Women of Quebec president Michèle Audette and Québec solidaire MNA Manon Massé were in attendance [at the march in Montreal]. Two days before the march, Massé called on the provincial government to do more to prevent this kind of violence. She said services for aboriginal peoples outside of reserves is the province’s responsibility, and that many incidents of violence happen in cities. About half of native people in Quebec live in urban settings.”
The editorial board of the McGill Daily highlights, “As noted by organizers of the seventh annual Montreal memorial march to honour the lives of missing and murdered women, ‘we need more than just words’. The Trudeau administration needs to implement concrete action to dismantle the systems of racism and gendered violence that Indigenous women face.”
And Chantal Henderson, an organizer of the march in Montreal, stated, “From my standpoint, as an Indigenous woman, there are still a lot of people who are unaware of the fact there is an increased number of murdered indigenous women in this country. We need to be acknowledged, and recognized and supported, in order for this country to move forward.”
Marches also took place in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto and other cities.
Photo: Sunday’s memorial march in Montreal.