Vancouver’s 28th annual women’s march focused on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Dan Mountain / February 14, 2019

People gathered at Carnegie Hall in Vancouver for the 28th Annual Women’s March
(Lya Fichmann / BCIT News)

Over a thousand community members gathered in remembrance on Thursday morning to play music and march to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The Women’s march has been an annual event in Vancouver since 1992 to celebrate women. This year – the event focused specifically on the Indigenous women and girls that their event page said are disproportionately going missing in downtown Vancouver.

The event began with testimonials from the family and friends of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

While the march was to bring attention to the problem in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, testimonials were welcome from anyone suffering from the grief of knowing a missing or murdered Indigenous woman.

Among them was Tso’lo Siam, a march participant whose cousin had recently gone missing. She said that her cousin went missing last November, and that she was at the march to remember with Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of Vancouver’s community.

I think it’s important for more exposure to the general public for the issues going on in the downtown eastside and the people who are hurting down here because of colonization and because of the settler-colonial state of Canada. I think it’s important for settlers and Indigenous people alike to see that.” – Tso’lo siam, March Participant

Marchers commemorating missing and murdered Indigenous Women
(Lya Fichmann / BCIT News)

After testimonials, they marched through Vancouver’s downtown Eastside.

Each time the march reached a spot where an Indigenous woman was last seen before going missing, they stopped and had a moment to remember.

The event saw Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community unified, commemorating missing and murdered Indigenous women.

It builds connection with everyone else and shows that we’re still here and we’re still strong and we haven’t forgotten those women who are missing and we remain united so that none of our women go missing anymore.” – Stephanie Holmes, march participant

With files from Lya Fichmann