Idle No More Supports The 23rd Annual February 14th Women’s Memorial March
The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of Indigenous women, including trans and two-spirit women, who have died as a result of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence. Now in its 23rd year, the March remembers and honours murdered and missing women, and seeks to organize against ongoing gendered violence that women face.
There are hundreds of organizers who work daily on community campaigns that address the issue of murdered and missing women. Idle No More and Defenders of the Land have issued a statement demanding a national inquiry into the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada. We also acknowledge the extremely high rates of violence that trans and two-spirit women face and the need for more awareness and research. Idle No More and Defenders of the Land call for active community resistance to gendered violence and reiterate the importance of a call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The inquiry must be defined, designed, and implemented by Indigenous women and be recognized as a step toward initiating a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan.
We understand that the federal government plans to release a report about missing and murdered Aboriginal women in the coming weeks. We are concerned that this report will not address the significant impact that systemic racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and poverty has on violence and the lives of Indigenous women.
As stated by Marlene George, a Memorial March organizer:
We are here to honour and remember the women, and we are here because we are failing to protect women from 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.
For more history and context of the women’s memorial march originating in the DTES, check out “Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside,” a short film that documents the 20 year history of the annual women’s memorial march for missing and murdered women in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.
Read marchers’ stories of Why I March.
Marches will also be held in over twenty Canadian cities including (from east to west): Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Orillia, Toronto, Peterborough, Hagersville, Owen Sound, London, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Winnipeg, Lebret, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Nelson, Kelowna, Prince George, Vancouver, and Victoria. In Vancouver, the march lead by Indigenous women, friends and family members of Missing and Murdered women, will move through the Downtown Eastside and stop at sites where women were either last seen or died, to offer prayers, medicines, and flowers in remembrance.
Here is the website and cities that have Memorial Marches:
Montreal: Friday February 14th, 6pm at Place Emilie Gamelin (Berri Metro, corner Berri & Ste. Catherine). Annual March for Missing and Murdered Women. https://www.facebook.com/events/666987913323993/
Ottawa: Thursday February 13th. 4th Annual Day of Justice for our Sisters in Spirit. https://www.facebook.com/events/543491765731982/
Oshawa: Friday, February 21, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 1 McGrigor St., Oshawa ON. Honouring the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women’s Walk.
Orilla: Friday February 14, 4 p.m. at 11 Albert Street South, Orillia ON. 1st Annual Orillia Memorial March for Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women https://www.facebook.com/events/706584199365722/
Toronto: Friday February 14th, the march starts at 12:30 with Strawberry Ceremony with Wanda Whitebird at the Police Headquarters 40 College Street at Bay. This will be the 9th Annual Strawberry Ceremony in Honour of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and those who have died Violent Deaths by Colonialism. https://www.facebook.com/events/578758638867662/
Peterborough: Friday, February 14 – meet at corner of Marina Boulevard and Water St at Noon – Walk in solidarity to Trent University
Hagersville: Thursday February 14, 2014. 5:15 pm – 6:00 pm start 659 New Credit Road Community Centre (Intersection of Queen and Main). Strawberry Ceremony and 3rd Vigil for Missing/Murdered Aboriginal Womens and Girls at Six Nations
Owen Sound: Friday, February 14th starting at 5pm. Ceremony and Teach-In at St. George’s Hall, 1049 4th Ave. East in Honour of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Feast to follow. https://www.facebook.com/nomoresilenceowensound
London: Friday Feb 14th at 4 pm, 4pm in the front community room of Atlohsa (343 Richmond St.) to commemorate our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters. Welcoming with the Naahii Singers. Dinner at 6pm and Moon ceremony at 7pm. Everyone is welcome! Please remember to bring your tobacco and water, and wear a skirt for the moon ceremony. https://www.facebook.com/events/215455275313215/
Sault Ste. Marie: Friday, February 14. 426 Queen St. E. Memorial March for Missing Women in Canada
Thunder Bay: Friday, February 14, 12 noon. City Hall, 500 Donald St. E. 6th Annual Valentine’s Day Memorial Walk. Full Moon Memory Walk for Missing and Murdered Anishinabe and Métis women
Kenora: Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5 pm at Women’s Place Kenora. Strawberry Ceremony to honour the spirits of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. https://www.facebook.com/events/248672321977978/
Thunder Bay: Friday February 14th. Full Moon Memory Walk for Missing & Murdered Anishinabe & Metis women. https://www.facebook.com/groups/26511170481/permalink/10152167964430482/
Saskatoon: Friday, February 14 from 6 to 7:30 pm, starting outside of City Hall. Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. https://www.facebook.com/events/1419555814957206/
Edmonton: Friday February 14th, 2014 Start Time: 6:30pm. Memorial March of Edmonton at the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples. 10821-96 Street, Edmonton, Alberta. Wear Red or Purple For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/620507241330221/
Edmonton: Friday Feb 14th at noon. University of Alberta Campus Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The march will begin in front of Pembina Hall with speakers and a prayer and will follow a path through campus that will end back at Pembina hall for tea and bannock. https://www.facebook.com/events/271818386306192/
Calgary: Friday, February 14, 2014, will mark Calgary’s 6th Annual Valentine’s Day Women’s Memorial March. The event will take place at Scarboro United Church and will begin at 6:30pm with speeches. The march will begin at 7pm and light meal will follow. https://www.facebook.com/events/477787738994034/
Nelson: Friday February 14 at noon. Gathering at the Nelson Court house (corners of Ward St. and Vernon St, Nelson BC). https://www.facebook.com/events/241354959379729/
Kelowna: Friday February 14 at noon in downtown Kelowna in front of the Courthouse on Water Street. 3rd Annual Women’s Memorial Vigil.
Vancouver: Friday February 14th, march starts at noon from Carnegie (Main and Hastings). Feb 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March – https://www.facebook.com/events/649903748374268/
Victoria: Saturday February 15th, gather at 11am and the walk will begin at noon. Stolen Sisters Memorial March 2014 – Lekwungen Territories. https://www.facebook.com/events/1433280240236673/