The third Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women drew only a handful of participants on Tuesday, on Valentine’s Day in Maple Ridge.
The numbers aren’t important though for Yvonne Desabrais who organized the event.
She says she’d do the march no matter how many showed up.
The event coincides with the Women’s Memorial March that also took place Tuesday in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The march has been going on for 27 years to honour all women who have died there from physical, mental, or spiritual violence.
“I do this in honour of my mom,” said Desabrais, from Maple Ridge.
“When I do this march, I do it in honour of missing and murdered women, but it includes men too.”
To make the point, Desabrais made a jacket with a crest illustrating that many men have gone missing over the years.
“There’s an incredible amount of men and women who are missing and murdered and they’re indigeneous. Something has to be done.”
Desabrais said she organized the march to take place at noon because it’s safer during daytime. She doesn’t feel safe walking after dark in Maple Ridge, or anywhere. Most women feel the same way.
She said awareness of indigenous issues is growing gradually.
“I’d love to see marches across every community in Canada.”
The federal government has announced a task force on the topic called the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.