It doesn’t get much media attention, but if you care about violence against women, Oct. 4th is an important day.
Each year across Canada communities organize Sisters in Spirit vigils to honour the lives of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. Tonight’s vigil in Cabot Square marks the eighth Montreal March and Candlelight Vigil.
Indigenous activists estimate the number of disappeared and murdered aboriginal women is as high as 3,000. Over the past 20 years, the Native Women’s Association of Canada has documented the disappearances and murders of nearly 600 aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
Few cases are solved and few murderers have been brought to justice for their crimes.
I can’t shake the feeling that if these women and girls were white, this would be daily national news. This matter deserves media attention and urgent action from Canada’s federal government.
A quote in the event’s press release from Bridget Tolley, founder of the annual October 4th Sisters in Spirit March and Vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, explains the importance of these annual marches and candlelight vigils. Bridget Tolley is the daughter of Gladys Tolley, who was struck and killed by Sûreté du Québec cruiser on her reserve in 2001 and Oct. 4 marks the day Gladys Tolley died:
October 4th vigils have been going on for eight years. Because of grassroots efforts like Missing Justice and Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS), this movement is growing and thriving. We’ve never been idle. Although it pains me deeply to see more and more murdered and missing Indigenous women, two-spirit, youth, and men every day, I still have hope. It’s hope that comes from the real power of uplifting our communities, of families coming together and taking on this work without government assistance or permission. It sends a strong message that: We are still here and we aren’t going anywhere.
When: Today, Oct. 4, 2013 at 6 p.m.
Where: Cabot Square (the park across from the old Montreal Forum building), Atwater metro