Many of you know that for the last 18 years, February 14 has been set aside as a day to remember and honour the thousands of Aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing in Canada. According to NWAC 520 Aboriginal women are known to have gone missing or been murdered since 1980.
In Native communities across Canada, people know women who have disappeared - daughters, sisters, mothers, and friends. No one knows what has happened to them. Many other women are known to have been murdered. The deaths and disappearances of these women eat at the hearts of all who love them.
The disappearances and murders of so many women don't happen without a cause. For generations, Canada has pursued policies that have dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of their lands and resources, and attacked their food supplies, their social structures, their languages, and their ways of life. Residential schools and other policies of assimilation and genocide have scarred families and communities. Canada's policies have created poverty, violence, and despair, and women have disproportionately borne the brunt of these. Many of the most vulnerable have had to make hard choices, only to be preyed on by Canadian racism and indifference.
Women keep getting murdered, and keep disappearing. Yet Canada, the provinces, police forces, coroners, and media remain indifferent. Why? Because the women are Indian.
Today is about defending the lives of Aboriginal women and demanding justice for all the Aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing. It is also about honouring, mourning, and remembering all the women who have gone. To those sisters, we say: your life is precious. We were not with you and we did not help you in the time of your greatest need. But we are here today to say we remember you. And we will never forget you.
Toronto Rally for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
When: Sunday, February 14, 2009 @ 12 pm
Where: Rally at Police HQ, 40 College St at Bay
We'll march to the Coroner's Office, 26 Grenville St; followed by a Gathering with food at U of T's Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP), 563 Spadina Ave (CWTP is wheelchair accessible)
We will also provide TTC tokens for those attending by public transit
*** To volunteer before or during the rally/march, please meet at U of T's CWTP at 11am on Feb 14.
*** To get involved with No More Silence (event organizers), come to the New Volunteers Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2-4pm at the CWTP.
*** To endorse or support the rally in any way, contact: *email@example.com*
For details of today's Vancouver rally see: http://rabble.ca/whatsup/february-14th-annual-womens-memorial-march-dtes-vancouver
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