Friday February 14, 2014
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Police Headquarters 40 College Street at Bay,
The Call Out:
Fwd: Three Indigenous women have died violent deaths in Toronto since last year’s ceremony. This has led No More Silence to create a community owned database to document and investigate such deaths in collaboration with Families of Sisters in Spirit and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network
We continue to raise our voices in denouncing the racism and complicity of state institutions and we support the demand for 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 visited the country to investigate 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.
No More Silence began holding ceremony at police headquarters on February 14th 9 years ago. 2 years ago we formed the February 14th Organizing Committee in an effort to broaden community participation in the planning of the event – the committee is made up of The Native Youth Sexual Health Network Sistering and other feminist and Indigenous community organizations.
Endorsed by: Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women against Rape; Toronto Bolivia Solidarity;DAWN Ontario DisAbled Women’s Network Ontario, OCAP, Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at OISE, Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto Maggies TO Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, Anduhyaun, Ontario Aboriginal HIV Strategy, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre Sexual Assault Survivors Support Line at York, No One is Illegal, Idle No More Toronto Indigenous Waves, The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto], Independent Jewish Voices, Women and Gender Studies Institute at U of T, OPIRG Toronto, Rising Tide, LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund), Anti-Colonial Committee, Law Union of Ontario, The Gender Based Violence Awareness group (OPIRG York, CWTP @ York, York Grad. Students Association, Trans Feminist Caucus of CUPE 3903, SASSL), CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Bathurst United Church Social Justice and Community Engagement Committee, Women in Solidarity with Palestine, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Canada, Shameless Magazine, United Jewish People’s Order, Toronto, York University Graduate Students Association, Basics Community News, Two Row Times, PARC (Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre), Christian Peacemaker Teams, OPIRG-Toronto, CUPE 3906 Working Group, Hamilton, Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts, Centre for Women and Trans People at U of T, United Jewish People’s Order-Toronto, The Community Action Centre of the Student Association of George Brown College, PSAN (Prison Support Action Network), Queen West Arts Collective, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, Trans Film Screening, Barbara Shlifer Clinic, Toronto Raging Grannies, Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga, Queen West Community Health Centre, Elisabeth Fry Society, Animiki Music Group,
CUPE Toronto District Council, Independent Jewish Voices, Women and Gender Studies Institute at U of T, CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Women in Solidarity with Palestine, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Canada, Bathurst United Church Social Justice and Community Engagement Committee, OPIRG-Toronto, CUPE 3906 Working Group, Hamilton, United Jewish People’s Order-Toronto, The Community Action Centre of the Student Association of George Brown College, Aura Freedom International, CUPE 1281
Printing by Opirg York and the Aboriginal Students’ Association at York
Check out the No More Silence blog for video and audio of our past work:
List of Feb 14th Memorial Marches in other communities: