I believe my first February 14th Women’s Memorial March was in 1997 in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. I was the support worker at PACE Society at the time and I was asked to say a few words. This was a great honour.
During the March we would customarily stop at the steps of the old Vancouver Police Station to listen and to share inspirational speeches and calls to action from women’s organizations. I remember how the community — a diverse grouping of Elders, family members, residents and community workers — claimed the Hastings and Main intersection. Medicines of sage and sweet grass enveloped us as we lifted each other to the spirit. Some years, we would look to the sky and see the eagles circling. For all of us, this was confirmation that we were joined on a righteous path. As we marched, onlookers joined us, people waved from buildings, and the women’s warrior song came sweetly out of our throats. We marched on, strong.