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

  • U.K.'s Nigel Farage demands a seat at Brexit talks

    World News CBC News
    Nigel Farage demanded a seat at Brexit negotiations on Monday after his new party swept to victory in the United Kingdom's European Parliament election, warning that he would turn British politics upside down if denied. Farage, a bombastic 55-year-old commodities broker-turned anti-establishment supremo, won by riding a wave of anger at the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. Source
  • Fiat Chrysler proposes merger with French carmaker Renault

    World News CBC News
    Fiat Chrysler is proposing a merger with French carmaker Renault aimed at saving billions of dollars for both companies. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement Monday that the merged company would be 50 per cent owned by FCA shareholders and 50 per cent by Renault shareholders. Source
  • Trump says he backs Japan's efforts to talk with Iran

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he would back the Japanese prime minister's efforts to open communications with Iran, citing Japan's good relations with the U.S. nemesis in the Middle East. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Iran next month amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran's nuclear program and destabilizing activities in the region. Source
  • Bad grad campers leave piles of trash, chairs behind

    Canada News CBC News
    Calgarian Jon Bek was just enjoying a weekend camping trip when his walk in the woods turned into an involuntary frat party cleanup crew. Bek and some friends were camping at Waiparous, near Cochrane, when they discovered a couple hundred meters away was a group of graduating high school students — about 50 vehicles and 100 students, Bek said. Source
  • Rouyn-Noranda Huskies beat Halifax Mooseheads to win Memorial Cup

    Canada News CBC News
    The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have won their first Memorial Cup. Peter Abbandonato scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period as Rouyn-Noranda beat the host Halifax Mooseheads 4-2 on Sunday to capture the biggest trophy in major junior hockey. Source
  • Environment Minister McKenna blasts provincial Tories for scrapping carbon tax

    Canada News CBC News
    As Alberta Premier Jason Kenney pushes forward with a plan to scrap the province's carbon tax, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says he shouldn't ignore climate science — especially in the face of wildfires raging across the western province. Source
  • Brexit Party wins, Conservatives bashed in U.K.'s EU voting

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's governing Conservative Party was all but wiped out in the European Parliament election as voters sick of the country's stalled European Union exit flocked to uncompromisingly pro-Brexit or pro-EU parties. The main opposition Labour Party also faced a drubbing in a vote that upended the traditional order of British politics and plunged the country into even more Brexit uncertainty. Source
  • Trump is first head of state to meet Japan's new emperor

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- U.S. President Donald Trump made history Monday under a blazing, hot sun at Japan's Imperial Palace, becoming the first world leader to meet the new emperor of Japan. Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1, opening what is called the era of "Reiwa," or "beautiful harmony. Source
  • Japanese man dies inflight after eating 246 cocaine packets

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- Mexican prosecutors say a Japanese man who died aboard an airliner shortly after takeoff from Mexico City had ingested 246 packets of cocaine and went into cardiac arrest from a drug overdose. Source
  • Three hurt in log ride crash at California amusement park

    World News CTV News
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Authorities say three members of a family were injured, one critically, when they were ejected from the log ride at a Southern California amusement park. Fire officials say the ride malfunctioned and one of the log-shaped vessels overturned Saturday at Castle Park in Riverside. Source