February 14 Women’s Memorial March DTES
30TH ANNUAL FEB 14 WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH
Sunday, Feb 14th, 2021
Family and community members gather in remembrance at 10:30 am (Main and Hastings) March starts at 12 pm from Carnegie (Main and Hastings)
Unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.
All COVID-19 protocols are in effect – social distancing and masks are required.
The event will also be fully live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube more info will follow.
The first women’s memorial march was held in 1992 in response to the murder of a woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Unceded Coast Salish Territories.
The women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women and all women’s lives lost in the Downtown Eastside. Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women from the DTES still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal to no action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.
On Sunday, Feb 14th 2020, we will gather at 10:30 am at Hastings and Main streets where family members speak in remembrance. All COVID-19 protocols are in effect – social distancing and masks are required.
When the march takes to the streets and proceeds through the Downtown Eastside, with stops to commemorate where women were last seen or found; speeches by community activists at Main and Hastings; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 2:30 pm; and finally a social distanced community feast at the Japanese Language Hall.
This event is organized and led by women in the DTES because women – especially Indigenous women – face physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence on a daily basis.
The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is an opportunity to come together to grieve the loss of our beloved sisters, remember the women who are still missing, and to dedicate ourselves to justice.
The event will be fully live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube more info will follow.
Indigenous women living in the Downtown Eastside face disproportionate levels of violence, poverty and racism. To learn more about the experiences of Indigenous women living in the Downtown Eastside, please see the resources below.
“Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside” by Alejandro Zuluaga and Harsha Walia: A short film that documents the 20 year history of the annual Women’s Memorial March for missing and murdered women in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.
“Finding Dawn” by Christine Welsh: Dawn Crey. Ramona Wilson. Daleen Kay Bosse. These are just three of the estimated 500 Indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past thirty years. Directed by acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh, Finding Dawn is a compelling documentary that puts a human face to this national tragedy.
“Red Women Rising” report: Red Women Rising is an extraordinary report with Indigenous women survivors at the center; rather than as a secondary reference. Indigenous women in the Downtown Eastside (DTES)—a neighbourhood known as ground zero for violence against Indigenous women—are not silent victims, statistics, or stereotypes. This unprecedented work shares their powerful first-hand realities of violence, residential schools, colonization, land, resource extraction, family trauma, poverty, labour, housing, child welfare, being two-spirit, police, prisons, legal system, opioid crisis, healthcare, and more.