WATCH: It was an memorial to honour and remember missing and murdered indigenous women. Hundreds taking to the streets of Victoria Saturday for the 9th annual stolen sisters march. Isabelle Raghem was there.
They sang, danced and drummed Saturday as hundreds mourned missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
“[We do it] so that people don’t forget who they are,” said Stolen Sisters March co-organizer Bernice Kamano, “It’s really critical that we remember them and honour their families.”
The memorial began in front of Our Place at 11 a.m. Saturday with songs and prayers.
“There’s a sense of strength in numbers, in coming together in ceremony. This is not a protest. We’re holding families up in ceremony and so this a cultural gesture,” said march co-organizer Kelly Aguirre.
Shortly after noon, the crowd walked through the streets of Downtown Victoria to the B.C. Legislature.
Among the crowd, families still looking for answers, including Lisa Dewit.
“My aunt Francis Brown, she went missing on October 14th just last year, we still have not found her,” said Dewit.
A 2014 national report found there were 1,186 unsolved cases of missing and murdered indigenous women between 1980- 2012. A number that doesn’t account for the last six years.
“This is an issue that indigenous communities have always been aware of, for the last century, or more, so this is not a new problem,” added Aguirre, “Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon but what we can do is what we’ve always done and that is hold each other up.”