Hundreds of demonstrators marched through downtown Victoria Saturday to remember Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have gone missing and that have been murdered.
”Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit people and trans people go missing and are murdered at a disproportionate rate to Canadians and so our communities can carry a lot of grief about that.” said event organizer Emma Allan.
Organizers say the annual “Stolen Sisters Memorial March” is to show that the lives of Indigenous women’s, two-spirits’ and girls’ are sacred.
The march started on the 900-block of Pandora Avenue and turned to Government Street before ending at the B.C. Legislature. For many in attendance, these issues hit close to the heart.
”We’re here on behalf of missing nephews that went missing. Desmond Peter, Ian Henry and Everett Jones. And then Catherine Joe our sister who was murdered in 77′, we found her but never found out who did it.” said march participant Monica Jones.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada estimates more than 4,000 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered in the last 40 years.
”It’s quite an emotional event and we have to keep going. We want justice for our sister. the major crime unit put it as a cold case unsolved.” Jones said.
The march comes after widespread demonstrations this week, supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary Chiefs fighting Coastal Gaslink’s LNG project in northern B.C.
One of the concerns with the project is it would promote “man camps”, which are environments that see increased rates of drug- and alcohol-related offences, sexual offences, domestic violence, and gang violence as well as sex-industry activities.
More to come — With files from the CBC