March in Maple Ridge for murdered, missing women

Part of a national effort which began in Vancouver in 1991

Yvonne Desabrais promotes the upcoming march

Yvonne Desabrais promotes the upcoming march

This Valentine’s Day, Maple Ridge will join in the Women’s Memorial March, for missing and murdered women.

The march is part of a national effort, which began in 1991 in Vancouver, when a women’s body was discovered on Powell Street. Her name is not mentioned to respect the wishes of her family.

The march, first organized by women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, has since spread to numerous Canadian cities, including Victoria, Nelson and Grand Forks in B.C., and even to cities in the U.S.

“We want people to be aware, and to help bring missing women home,” said local organizer Yvonne Desabrais.

The community activist has been involved with the Port Haney Neighbourhood Change Initiative, and the Fraser River All Nations Aboriginal Society.

“I’m doing the march. Whether I’m the only one there, I’m doing it,” she said. “Every community across Canada should have this march.”

Her own mother was abducted, sexually assaulted, and dumped outside of the Calgary city limits.

“She never was okay after that,” said Desabrais. “The spark was gone.”

“So it is personal for me.”

The marchers are meeting at noon at the gazebo in Memorial Peace Park, at 11900 – 224th St. The march will begin at 12:30 p.m., with a loop of the downtown, and finish back at the gazebo.

Everyone is encouraged to bring a picture of loved ones, and anyone they are marching for.

• For more information see the website memorialmarchmapleridge@gmail.com.