Sunday, February 14th. About 200 braved the cold, gathered at Berri Square and quietly (except for a lone drum), marched all the way to Parc des Ameriques holding white hearts and signs: “3000 stories untold.”
Our goal: Remember the women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered. There are 3000 of them. But for the purposes of TV cameras, our goals go beyond remembering. We want to pressure the government to continue funding NWAC’s Sisters in Spirit initiative. We want them to conduct a public investigation on top of that. We want them to say ” Yes, there is a serious problem here.”
The opening prayer was done by Cheryl Diabo of Kahnawake’s Mohawk Traditional Council, and speakers included Kate Rexe of NWAC, Bridget Tolley from Kitigan Zibi, whose mother Gladys Tolley was murdered by the Surete de Quebec in 2002, Kary Ann Deere of Projet Autochtones de Quebec, performance artist Chandra Melting Tallow, and Mi’kmaq writer and activist Dorothy Proctor from Nova Scotia who spoke about the disproportionately high levels of Indigenous women in prisons in Canada and how the majority of them have been the repeated victims of physical and sexual violence.
We closed with drumming and singing by Aboriginal women’s drum & singing group, Odaya, who had everybody form a circle, hold hands and sing. There were just enough people to fill the entire park with our circle. Beautiful.
CTV, Global TV, and CBC were present, along with journalists from UQAM and The Concordian.
Photos by Maya Rolbin-Ghanie and Dexter X.
People start to assemble at Berri Square
Kate Rexe from NWAC speaks
Marching up St. Laurent street, Bridget Tolley in the lead
We form a circle