Premier John Horgan, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant Melanie Mark, and Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser have issued the following statement to acknowledge the annual Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside:
“On Feb. 14, thousands gather on the streets of the Downtown Eastside, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people, to remember and honour the lives of women and girls from this community who have died or have gone missing, and to support their loved ones. It is with heartfelt regret that we cannot physically be there with you today. We stand with you in heart and spirit.
“The annual Women’s Memorial March is a chance to come together, grieve the loss and honour the lives of beloved sisters, mothers, daughters, aunties, community members and friends. For us, it is also a call to action and one of the reasons we have committed to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
“This memorial march — led by families, community members, activists and organizations working tirelessly over the past 27 years — has ensured that we do not forget the women, girls and stolen sisters who have gone missing from the Downtown Eastside and other parts of B.C. We honour this commitment and passion for justice, shining a light on an issue too long unresolved.
“Too many women and girls have died in our province. In particular, Indigenous women in B.C. are nearly three times more likely to be victims of domestic violence, murder, and other violent crimes than non-Indigenous women. This must change. Gendered violence, poverty and racism are issues we all must confront in our communities.
“We want to affirm that these women and girls are not forgotten. Their lives matter and their legacy matters. Every woman and child deserves to feel safe and protected. We will continue to walk beside all of you, working to create a future free of racism and violence.”