Statement by the Honourable Marc Miller on the 31st annual Women’s Memorial March
There is a national, toll-free 24/7 crisis call line providing mental health support for anyone who requires emotional assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. For assistance, call 1-844-413-6649.
Supports are also available through the MMIWG health and cultural support services.
Support could include professional counselling with a focus on healing, emotional supports such as listening and referrals to additional services, and culturally-specific help centered around traditional healing methods and Elder services.
Ottawa, Ontario — Traditional unceded Algonquin Territory (February 14, 2022) — The Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller, issued the following statement today:
“In January 1992, a Coast Salish woman was brutally murdered on Powell Street in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It was this tragic event that galvanized other women to take action and rally to commemorate the loss of Indigenous women and girls. From these feelings of anger, frustration and hopelessness, the annual Women’s Memorial March began.
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the original Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver. Each year on February 14—led by Indigenous women and Elders—people from all walks of life join together to march, mourn and remember. They listen to family members and walk through the streets laying roses at sites where Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or were murdered, and hold ceremony. They honour the families and Survivors of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence.
Decades later, this Memorial March continues to draw attention to the need for action. It has expanded beyond Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Coast Salish territories to take place in cities across the country, including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, St. John’s, Calgary and Edmonton.
As we commemorate families and Survivors of heinous and senseless acts of violence, it is important to reflect on what still needs to be accomplished to prevent such acts from occurring again and how we can better support survivors in their recovery and families and communities in their grief. In Canada, too many women still live in fear of violence, and Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are significantly more likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women. Through the Federal Pathway, which is the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan, we are working to end the violence and systemic racism that are at the root cause of this issue.
By listening to each other and working together, we can end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. We forever hold in our hearts and minds the Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people who are missing, have been murdered, or are survivors of gender- and race-based violence. We honour the spirits and the memories of the lives lost through events such as the Women’s Memorial March—fostering healing for families and Survivors and working to protect future generations. Through vigilance, education and positive actions, we can build a Canada free from gender- and raced-based violence—for all.”
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
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