Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.
Hundreds gathered yesterday in the rainy Vancouver Downtown Eastside for the 26th Annual Downtown Eastside Women's Memorial March.
Held every February 14, the March honours the memory of all women from the Downtown Eastside who have died as a result of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence.
"I'm here to say I'm getting sick and tired of the war against Native people and the cowardly people who murder women and little girls," said Tsleil-Waututh Elder Amy George to the crowd at the start of the march. "All of us here, we need to stick together and say the war against us is over. I don't want this to be just this day that we all stand together and say enough is enough."
This year, with the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, the Women's March committee aimed to bring some awareness of what they hope to see throughout the inquiry.
"The government's current plan for the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women should focus on three key issues," said Fay Blaney, Co-Chair of the Women's March in a statement. "The overall status of Indigenous women in Canada, addressing systemic and male violence against Indigenous women, and safe and respectful participation of families and loved ones including families of the heart, frontline workers and Indigenous feminist organizations."
Across the country, other events took place to stand in solidarity with the Vancouver march, including the 11th Annual Strawberry Ceremony in Toronto, all in the hopes of raising awareness about violence against Indigenous women.
"Our Indigenous women are just as important as any other woman on the soil of these lands. And in the spirit of that I ask you to keep praying, keep believing and do not be silent because you can win. We can win together. You're not alone," said Deborah Parker of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington. "You have a voice. Continue to use it -- not only on this day but every day forward. Every day forward."
Alyse Kotyk is a Vancouver-based writer and editor with a passion for social justice and storytelling. She studied English Literature and Global Development at Queen's University and is excited by media that digs deep, asks questions and shares narratives. Alyse was the Editor of Servants Quarters and has written for the Queen's News Centre, Quietly Media and the Vancouver Observer. She is now rabble's News Intern.
Photos: Alyse Kotyk
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.