I march because:

It is time for us to unite… for the sheer purpose that Indigenous Women and girls are not disposable, for the urgent matter that the lives of Indigenous Women and Girls matter!

I march because:

It is the time that Indigenous Women and Girls are SEEN are HEARD and are demanding JUSTICE for every single Indigenous Woman and Girl.

I march because:

Of the immediacy, the urgency, of the utter lack of response, to the grossly under publicized epidemic; of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The impunity must end now before another sister is taken.

February 14th otherwise known as Valentine’s Day to me is an oppressive social construction aimed at women to imply they are inadequate and incomplete. That there adequacy is measured by being “chosen” by someone of the dominant sex along with the economics spent on showing this “chosen” love. Not to mention that the very concept of Valentine’s Day is based on a male driven capitalistic need to make money on the commodification of love and self-worth.

For me February 14th  or Valentine’s Day for the last 18 years as been a day that I take to the streets, I disrupt traffic, I claim space, I march to deal with my sense of hopelessness and anger towards the inadequate response to missing and murdered women and girls. February 14th is a day I get to express my respect, my compassion, my caring, and my love for Indigenous Women and Girls who are missing or who have been murdered.

This February 14th will be the 28th year that Indigenous Women and women leaders who to me are warriors from the downtown east side; take to the street to march in honor of the lives of women and girls who have experienced gender based violence. They will march in honor of the Indigenous Women and Girls who are missing or who have been murdered. They will march in honor of their families and our communities. They will march to raise awareness for the increasing deaths and disappearances of women and girls from the DTES, even if it is for only one day.

I march because: there must be an end to the appalling systemic levels of gender based violence, poverty, racism, oppression, patriarchy, misogyny, and colonization that impact the vulnerability of all the lives of every women and girl, across our beautiful Turtle Island.

I march because:

I stand in the honor of every one of our beautiful women warriors that have lost their life as a result of violence.

I will not be silenced anymore, I march to break the silence, I march to find my voice, I march in resistance, I march for the return of our rightful matriarchal ways and positions of power. I march for the lives of every one of my sisters out on the front lines.  I march for the safety of every women and girl.

I march in defensive of the worthiness of the lives of Indigenous women and girls. I stand in demonstration against the complacency of the state, the government, and of Canada; in their ongoing genocide of Indigenous women and girls across Turtle Island. I march in opposition of the impunity granted to those who are responsible for taking the lives of Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Womens Memorial March is an opportunity to stand together in solidarity as Indigenous Women and to stand in solidarity with indigenous Women.

We march as a call to action.

We march as a call for justice

We march in a call for solidarity.

Finally I march because my freedom is intertwined in your freedom, I march because no women regardless of race or class is able to live there life free from the threat of violence, until every Indigenous women and girls is free to live their life without the threat of violence.

All my relations,

Summer-Rain, Manager of Indigenous Women’s Program at BWSS