February 14 - Annual Women's Memorial March

On Valentine’s Day, 2018, the Downtown Eastside community held another successful Women’s Memorial March. The March has become a much larger gathering than the first one in 1992. Many Elders, friends and community leaders marched to support families that have had no answers as to where their daughters, mothers, aunties and sisters have disappeared.  On a beautiful sunny day, and with Eagles flying above us, it was truly a blessing to all of us attending the march. It was a very peaceful walk, as the organizers asked us to respect the intent of the March and to honour the women who are still missing.  

 It was great to see Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillor Andrea Reimer on the March, as well as Chief Adam Palmer from the Vancouver Police Department, and to have them walk with us through the community.  I was especially proud to see Bishop Melissa Skelton walking with us. There were Anglican Churches present on the walk, and many Indigenous organizations, along with their friends – many of whom have attended every year since the March began in 1992. The March also received a lot of media attention, and it was encouraging to see that our missing sisters have not been forgotten.  

Although there are still painful memories for families, it was a peaceful March and an inclusive gathering of our people, government, police, churches, Elders, children, and parents. This kind of truly peaceful gathering of all peoples needs to happen to help overcome the painful and sad history of Canada. It was an example of the remarkable healing that can occur when we come together in a compassionate and respectful way.  

Jerry Adams, Interim Indigenous Justice Coordinator, Diocese of New Westminster

(Many thanks to the Reverend Laurel Dykstra, gathering priest - Salal and Cedar Watershed Discipleship for supplying these moving photos {including an eagle flying overhead} of the 26th Annual Vancouver March to remember murdered and missing indigenous women.  Here is an album with more images located on the DofNW Indigenous Circle Facebook page)