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      Remembering Missing and Murdered
      Indigenous Women and Demanding Justice

      By Tamara Hansen

      On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022, Vancouver held its 31st annual Women’s Memorial March gathering at the corner of Hastings St and Main St in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). This important event began originally in Vancouver in 1992. Since then, it has grown, and this year dozens of inspiring events and actions were organized across Canada.

      During the time of the global Covid-19 pandemic, violence against women in Canada and around the world has increased. At the same time, the 2019 National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls concluded that the ongoing neglect by the government of Canada towards the lives of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls constitutes “an ongoing genocide.” The report further explains, “this genocide has been empowered by colonial structures, evidenced notably by the Indian Act, the Sixties Scoop, residential schools, and breaches of human and Inuit, Métis and First Nations rights, leading directly to the current increased rates of violence, death, and suicide in Indigenous populations.” Despite this report, the government of Canada continues to fail women across Canada, Indigenous women in particular. It is because of this that women, girls, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and their allies join in the streets and continue to demand justice and real solutions to end systematic racism, poverty, homelessness, and violence against women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people!

      The Women’s Memorial Marches were started by the families and friends of missing and murdered DTES women (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous). Thirty-one years later, the demands remain the same. It is up to justice-loving people to take on the struggle to end violence against women each day and to demand immediate action from the government of Canada.

      On May 5, 2022, many organizations across Canada will be marking the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls & 2SLGBTQ+ people, and Red Dress Day. Please consider supporting and attending local events and actions in your community.

      #MMIWG #NoMoreStolenSisters #Reddresscampaign

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