April 19th, 2024

Memorial march honours missing and murdered women

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 15, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman A small group of residents brave the cold temperatures to take part of the Canada-wide Women's Memorial March Wednesday in front of City Hall.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

A small group of Lethbridge residents braved the cold Tuesday and joined others across the country for the Women’s Memorial March to commemorate, honour and bring awareness to missing and murdered women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people in Canada.

The Women’s Memorial March originated in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1992, but locally the march has been held since 2019, “when women kept coming up murdered along the downtown core and nobody was doing anything,” said local organizer Tseten Drawu.

She said nobody was crying out demanding to know what was going on; why those women were being murdered and going missing.

“And finally, the women in Vancouver, especially Indigenous women, had it and they took to the streets in protest,” said Drawu.

She said they called out saying those women’s lives matter and people need to pay attention to the crisis, but 30 years later nothing has changed, so they continue to march.

“To me it’s frustrating. I don’t understand why we’re still hearing about women being targeted, and when women go missing why their lives don’t matter as much as any other life on this earth.”

Drawu said they keep marching and hoping that things will change, and also to bring awareness about the disparity indigenous women go through under those circumstances.

“We also march to bring awareness that indigenous women are disproportionately affected by this. They say Indigenous women are 16 times more likely to be murdered than any other women in this country.”

Another way to commemorate and honour the women is through art. Drawu spoke about the Women’s Memorial March ArtWalk taking place in the Nature Reserve Park, and said the ArtWalk was inspired by the desire to raise awareness in a safe manner in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During COVID we had to shift things and do things a little bit differently, so we thought we could do something that’s safe and as well bring awareness; bring information to those that are in the nature reserve, and it turned out to be a beautiful location on the Coalbanks Trail.”

Local artists have contributed their art toward the Woman’s Memorial March ArtWalk, while the outdoor exhibit also pays tribute to Jaime Black’s REDress project of 2010.

“We’ve hung dresses within the nature reserve. The ArtWalk it’s up right now, and we’ll take it down on March 16 and everyone is welcome to come,” Drawu said.

Visitors can park at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and then walk along the Coalbanks trail heading north.

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