Prayers and blessing before the march led by First Nations Elder Vinnia Van Overdyk (left) with march co-ordinator Suzanne Dzus.
Gathering for the Calgary march, UFCW Canada national representative Devin Yeager (back row, far right) joins with UFCW Canada Local 401 activists (back row L-R) Sean Wells, Lou Craig, Natalie Doerth. (Middle row, L-R) Nathan West, Danielle Jeffrey, April Albrecht. (front row, L-R): Dayna Bramston, Alex Shevalier, Ricardo de Menezes.
UFCW Canada activists joined with more than 150 other marchers for the Calgary Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women. The gathering was one of ten other Valentine’s Day marches held across the country this year to honour the memories of women gone missing or murdered in Canada. The first march started 20 years ago in Vancouver in response to the beating death of an aboriginal woman downtown.
UFCW Canada has participated in the annual Calgary march since its inception three years ago — on the day of the march, as well in as the weeks leading up to it by sponsoring an outreach and awareness campaign for the memorial.
“We’re here in solidarity to support our community, our Sisters, and the families of the victims,” says national representative Devin Yeager, who was one of the event organizers and along with other UFCW Canada activists marched along with families holding lanterns and photographs of loved ones lost to violence. “When we see violence, poverty and indifference towards women’s issues we need to speak out and stop it.”
In Alberta alone more than 100 women have been murdered or gone missing in the past decade. More than 3,000 Canadian women have gone missing or been murdered since the 1970’s. Many of the cases continue to go unsolved.
“It’s a sad day but it is also a loving remembrance of missing and murdered mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, daughters, nieces and granddaughters,” said Suzanne Dzus, the co-ordinator of the Calgary march. “We will continue to gather on Valentine's Day to honour the memories of missing and murdered women — and to keep alive the hope that justice will be seen for these women and their families.”
Vol. XI No. 08 • February 22, 2011