Through rain and snow, crowds march for missing and murdered aboriginal women

Sombre marches were held in several Canadian cities Sunday to commemorate the country’s missing and murdered indigenous women and draw attention to the countless unsolved tragedies.

See Full Article

It’s been more than 20 years since the first Women's Memorial March was held in Vancouver, and this year’s rally comes at a moment some advocates consider a major turning point.

Under the new Liberal government in Ottawa, the first phase of a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women is underway. A pre-inquiry process is expected to wrap up on Monday.

It’s the first time the march has been held since the government launched a national inquiry. Former prime minister Stephen Harper repeatedly dismissed calls for an inquiry.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who herself is aboriginal, spoke at Vancouver’s march and identified two key priorities the federal government has pinpointed.

“To find justice -- some measure of justice -- for the murdered and missing indigenous women and girls, and to collectively work to find solutions to ensure that this tragedy does not continue,” Wilson-Raybould said.

The RCMP has identified 1,181 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Advocates say that figure, released in 2014, continues to grow.

For some, the march carried a more personal significance. Sophie Merasty marched to honour her sister Rose Leana Merasty, who was killed in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside more than two decades ago.

“If it was possible, I would like the inquiry to look at not just her, but to open cases that are cold cases, dead cases, of missing and murdered aboriginal women,” Merasty told CTV News.

With the national inquiry moving forward, march organizers used the opportunity to highlight ways they think the government should lead the investigation.

Fay Blaney, who is on the committee that organizes the Vancouver march, said the inquiry should include consultation with the victims’ families, women’s groups and provincial and territorial governments.

And while Blaney said the march “is significant every year,” she doesn’t need to look far back to remember feeling as though the issue was being ignored by the government.

“I recall sitting here about four or five years ago, maybe longer, saying that there needs to be a national inquiry,” she said.

In Toronto, a similar march wrapped through the city’s streets before ending at police headquarters – a gesture meant to highlight the city’s still unsolved cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. In Winnipeg, butterflies were carried through the streets as symbols of transformation.

With a report from CTV’s Melanie Nagy



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • D.C. sniper requests hearing to ask for lower sentence

    World News CTV News
    RICHMOND, Va. - A sniper who randomly killed 10 people and terrorized the Washington, D.C., region more than 15 years ago is entitled to a new hearing to ask for a lighter sentence, his lawyer argued Tuesday to a federal appeals court. Source
  • Skepticism, worry amid preparation for Rohingya repatriation

    World News CTV News
    YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar says it's ready for a gradual repatriation of Muslim Rohingya refugees chased out by the Buddhist-majority country's military. Bangladesh says it's preparing for the transfer, but it might need more time. Source
  • Philippine volcano spreads lava almost three kilometres from crater

    World News CTV News
    LEGAZPI, Philippines -- Lava fountaining regularly from the Philippines' most active volcano has flowed up to 3 kilometres (1.86 miles) from the crater in a dazzling but increasingly dangerous eruption. Mount Mayon has spewed lava up to 600 metres (2,000 feet) high at times Tuesday and early Wednesday and its ash plumes stretched up to 5 kilometres (3 miles) above the crater. Source
  • 'So glad that you're here': MMIW inquiry begins in Yellowknife

    Canada News CTV News
    After a year of struggles, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls resumed Tuesday in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. “I’m so glad that you’re here,” Dean Meyer, whose daughter went missing in 2010, said on the first of three days of hearings. Source
  • Conservative MP Kellie Leitch won't run in 2019

    Canada News CBC News
    Conservative MP Kellie Leitch will not seek re-election in 2019, CBC News has confirmed. Leitch, who represents the Ontario riding of Simcoe–Grey, made a failed bid for the party's leadership last year. More to come Source
  • Girl tortured with siblings was bullied, frail: classmate

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The oldest of the 13 California siblings who authorities said were imprisoned by their parents was frail, smelly and picked on as a grade school student in Texas, one of her classmates said in a heart-wrenching Facebook post. Source
  • Oklahoma gas rig workers' remains recovered day after explosion

    World News CBC News
    Officials on Tuesday recovered the remains of five gas rig workers who had been missing since a fiery explosion in eastern Oklahoma a day earlier. Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said once the natural gas drilling rig was stabilized following the blast and subsequent fires, employees from the state medical examiner's office went into the wreckage and recovered the bodies in about two hours. Source
  • Calgary skydiver killed in Southern California roof crash

    Canada News CTV News
    PERRIS, Calif. -- Authorities have identified a skydiver who died when he fell onto the roof of a home in Southern California. The Riverside County coroner's bureau says the man who died Monday afternoon was Aime-Jean St. Source
  • Gay couple sues U.S. government for denying citizenship to one of their twins

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Ethan and Aiden Dvash-Banks are toddler twins who share almost everything: the same toys, the same nursery, the clothes and the same parents. Everything but a toothbrush and U.S. citizenship. To remedy what their parents, a gay married couple, view as an injustice, Ethan Dvash-Banks became a plaintiff at the tender age of 16 months in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Source
  • Bodies of B.C. father, teen daughter recovered after ATV accident

    Canada News CTV News
    CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. - A search for a man and his teenage daughter who were swept away while crossing a Vancouver Island creek on an all-terrain vehicle has come to an end after both bodies were found. Source