The 32nd annual Women's Memorial March in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Feb. 14, was a powerful gathering that brought immense energy and emotions with a mix of anger, sadness, and grief over the devastating impact of colonization on Indigenous peoples.
It was both beautiful and heart-wrenching to witness the courage and bravery of those who shared their voices and stories in the demand for change.
During the event, two eagles flew overhead of the families as they spoke of their lost loved ones, a powerful symbol of the Creator's presence and support in lifting their voices to those who are missing and to our ancestors. These eagles have been seen at the event every year, almost as if they understand the purpose of the gathering and have come to offer a reminder of those who are missing and the strength of our ancestors.
As we joined the march, we felt a deep sense of solidarity with everyone who came to support Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people who have been disproportionately impacted by violence and exploitation. It was inspiring to see so many people come together to acknowledge the deep wounds that have been inflicted on our communities and to demand change.
We must acknowledge that the racism and ongoing atrocities faced by Indigenous communities are not isolated incidents but are the result of a legacy of colonialism that has spanned generations. We need everyone's support in our efforts to combat these issues and to build a better future for Indigenous peoples.
The Women's March was a call to action for all of us to stand up and demand change. It is a reminder that we must all actively work to dismantle the systems of oppression that have been put in place, and to support the efforts of Indigenous communities to reclaim safety, power and sovereignty.
As Indigenous patient navigators, Barbara-Jean and Caterina offer in-hospital assistance to improve the quality of health care delivery to Indigenous patients through direct patient support and staff education. Patients and their families may access a navigator directly by calling (604) 875.2348.