Marches took place across Canada on Saturday, with participants demanding justice for the country’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women…still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss,” according to the Women’s Memorial March Committee, organizer of the 25th annual event in Vancouver. “Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal to no action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.”
Last month, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous arm of the Organization of American States, pinpointed colonization, long-standing inequality, and discrimination as root causes of disproportionate violence against Indigenous women.
Marlene George, Memorial March Committee organizer, added: “We are here to honor and remember the women, and we are here because we are failing to protect women from the degradation of poverty and systemic exploitation, abuse and violence. We are here in sorrow and in anger because the violence continues each and every day and the list of missing and murdered women gets longer every year.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said last May that 1,017 Aboriginal women had been murdered between 1980 and 2012. Another 108 are missing under suspicious circumstances, with some cases dating back to 1952.
Those who came together in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Grand Forks, and about a dozen other locations, called for a national inquiry and action plan to address the crisis.
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