February 14 1991 was the first march for missing and murdered aboriginal women. In January 1991 a Coast Salish woman was murdered in Vancouver's downtown eastside. In response, activists began to organize the memorial march to fight against the systemic under investigating in the deaths of indigenous women. The march has been running for 21 years in Vancouver and is now observed across the country.
Indigenous women in Canada experience violence every day, through racism and sexism. Despite the rising rates of missing and murdered aboriginal women the Harper government has not taken any action. More than three thousand women have gone missing in Canada since the 1970s, 80 per cent of them indigenous. Yet police still aren't giving the standard amount of attention and care to these cases.
The memorial is a call to action, a moment to mourn and time for change. Indigenous activists conduct spiritual ceremonies and families of missing women speak out at the event.
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