Through rain and snow, crowds march for missing and murdered indigenous 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

  • Uganda expected to charge 75 after raid of LGBT-friendly bar

    World News CTV News
    In this Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 file photo, a Ugandan man is seen during the third Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda. (AP Photo/Rebecca Vassie, File) Source
  • Protests swell in Bolivia as new interim leader challenged

    World News CBC News
    Renewed clashes rocked Bolivia's capital on Wednesday as the country's self-declared interim president, a second-tier lawmaker thrust into the post because of a power vacuum, faced challenges to her leadership claim from supporters of ousted Evo Morales. Source
  • Highlights from Day 1 of the televised Trump impeachment inquiry

    World News CBC News
    Wednesday's start of public impeachment hearings unfolding in the U.S. Congress marked the first time that the American public could watch and listen to the witnesses whose testimony is at the centre of the Democrats' investigation. Over several hours of testimony, punctuated by occasional bickering among lawmakers, some memorable moments emerged. Source
  • Death toll for Australian wildfire emergency rises to 4

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia - The death toll for wildfires raging across Australia's most populous state has risen to four with a man's body found in a scorched forest in northeast New South Wales. Police say the body was found northwest of the town of Kempsey before midnight on Wednesday. Source
  • Roger Stone trial closes with duelling versions of motives in 2016 Trump campaign

    World News CBC News
    Prosecutors delivered closing arguments in the trial of U.S. President Donald Trump's adviser Roger Stone on Wednesday, saying the Republican operative lied to Congress about his efforts to keep abreast when WikiLeaks might dump damaging emails on Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election campaign because he knew it would make Trump look bad. Source
  • 2 officials, teacher charged in autistic student's death

    World News CTV News
    PLACERVILLE, Calif. -- Two private school administrators and a teacher are facing criminal charges in the death of an autistic student who was restrained for nearly two hours, prosecutors in Northern California said. Former Guiding Hands School site administrator Cindy Keller, principal Staranne Meyers and special education teacher Kimberly Wohlwend were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on one count each of manslaughter in the death of 13-year-old Max Benson, the Sacramento Bee…
  • Fewer newcomers becoming citizens; StatCan suggests it's tied to income

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Fewer newcomers from disadvantaged groups became Canadian citizens during a 10-year period that coincided with the previous Conservative government's changes to the citizenship program, new Statistics Canada research shows. The decrease was part an overall trend in declining citizenship rates among those who have been in Canada less than 10 years, despite the fact the actual citizenship rate in Canada is among the highest in the Western world, Statistics Canada said in the study…
  • Alberta independence ideas would increase costs: Calgary mayor

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Ideas that could give Alberta more independence from the federal government are getting a tepid reception from one of the province's big-city mayors and a chamber of commerce boss. Premier Jason Kenney's United Conservative government has formed a panel to examine ways for Alberta to get what he calls a "fair deal" in Canada. Source
  • Alberta premier's principal adviser spent $18K in taxpayer money on trips to London, NDP says

    Canada News CBC News
    Premier Jason Kenney's principal adviser David Knight-Legg spent thousands of taxpayer dollars during four trips to London, U.K., Alberta's Official Opposition said Wednesday. The NDP highlighted the expenses in a news release based on publicly available travel and expense disclosures. Source
  • Moe says separation not the answer to expanding Saskatchewan's autonomy

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says all options are on the table when it comes to expanding provincial autonomy. Moe says he will be considering different ideas and it's still early in the process. Source