For Our Sisters -Toronto's 8th Annual Ceremony for our missing and murdered women
Thursday February 14, 2013
Toronto Police Headquarters
40 College Street
The Call Out:
Strawberry Ceremony with Wanda Whitebird begins at 12:30 Police Headquarters 40 College Street at Bay, Toronto.
Community Feast catered by NaMeRes at the 519 Church Street Community Centre; 519 Church Street following the rally.
Please signs and banners about the missing and murdered women only.
Tokens will be available at the rally.
Raising our Voices to Demand a national public inquiry led by Indigenous grass roots women and supported by a United Nations Investigation into Missing & Murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
According to research conducted by the Native Women Association of Canada (NWAC) under the Sisters In Spirit Program, over 600 Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing, most of them over the last 30 years.
Despite clear evidence that this is an ongoing issue, the federal government decided in the fall of 2010 to end funding to Sisters in Spirit. Instead monies in the amount of $10 million have been dedicated to a central RCMP missing person centre.
The same institution - who, along with the Vancouver Police Department, failed to properly investigate Pickton in 1997 - was at the centre of a public inquiry in Vancouver. The sham inquiry into the failed Pickton investigation has since been completed with no consequences for any guilty parties and was boycotted by 20 of the 21 groups who were granted standing due to the denial of adequate funding for legal defense.
Pickton, who was convicted for six murders, has admitted to killing 49 women. A total of 18 murders occurred after he was arrested and released for the attempted murder of a sex worker in 1997. This is blood on police hands, yet RCMP officers testifying at the sham inquiry state “there are few things they would change about how they did their work.”
It should come as no surprise that the Committee to End Discrimination Against Women at the United Nations has accepted submissions put forward by advocates of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES) as well as the Native Women's Association of Canada and announced their intent to launch an inquiry into Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women.
On February 14th we come together in solidarity with the women who started this vigil over 20 years ago in Vancouver's DTES, and with the marches and rallies that will be taking place across this land. We stand in defense of our lives and to demonstrate against the complicity of the state in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women and the impunity of state institutions and actors (police, RCMP, coroners' offices, the courts, and an indifferent federal government) that prevents justice for all Indigenous peoples.
Endorsed by Native Women's Resource Centre, Anduhyaun, No More Silence, Ontario Aboriginal HIV Strategy, Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Camp Sis, Sistering, Ontario Federation of Labor, IWD Toronto Committee, Muskrat Magazine, TRCC/MWAR, Gathering Weavers, Christian Peacemaker Teams- Aboriginal Justice Team, Canadian Chiapanecas Justice for Women, Maggies,OCAP, METRAC, Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network, The Redwood, Aboriginal Student Association at York (ASAY), CUPE local 1281, Women and Gender Studies Institute at U of T (WGSI), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), International Socialists, Health for All, Toronto New Socialists, NOII, Communist Party of Canada, Centre for Women and Trans at U of T CWTP, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, OPIRG Toronto and Students against Israeli Apartheid U of T, Educators for Peace and Justice (EPJ) & Rank and File Education Workers of Toronto (REWT), Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Rising Tide, United Jewish People’s Order-Toronto and the UJPO Social Justice Committee
GENEROUS FINANCIAL SUPPORT BY:
Elementary School Teachers of Toronto (ETT), Sam Ginden Chair in Social Justice and Democracy Ryerson University, Sistering, WGSI
List of Feb 14th Memorial Marches in other communities: