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Women’s Memorial March takes place in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Feb. 14

The annual march honours the lives of the city's missing and murdered women.
The 31st Annual Women’s Memorial March takes place in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Monday, February 14, 2022.

The 31st Annual Women’s Memorial March takes place in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Monday, Feb. 14. 

Each year, thousands of locals take to the city's street to honour the lives of women who have gone missing or been murdered. The first march was held in 1992 in response to the murder of a woman on Powell Street.

The event website states that "increasing deaths of many women and gender-diverse people from the DTES still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Indigenous women, girls, two spirit and trans people disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal to no action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism."

"Violence against Indigenous women and girls remains an urgent issue in our province and throughout the country," said Premier John Horgan; Hli Haykwhl Ẃii X̱sgaak, Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant; Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity; and Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation in a joint statement issued Feb. 14. 

"Dismantling the underlying and systemic issues that result in Indigenous women experiencing violence at a much higher rate than non-Indigenous women is also fundamental to our government's work toward building true and lasting reconciliation and advancing gender equity.

"We have made it a priority to commemorate initiatives that raise awareness and honour Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ people who have gone missing or been murdered, survivors and their family members," added the B.C. officials in their statement.

The community remembrance will commence at 10:30 a.m. at Main and Hastings streets and then the public march will start at noon. Indigenous elders and family members will make a prayer circle at Carnegie Community Centre before the march proceeds. The march will make its way through the community making stops along the way to honour places where women were last seen or found.

Organizers ask that you do not bring your agency or group banners, flags, or leaflets as the march only carries signage remembering the lives of women. Signs to honour women's lives are welcome. 

Women's Memorial March Schedule 

  • At 10:30 a.m., there will be a family and community remembrance at Main and Hastings

  • At noon, the elders and family members make a circle at Main and Hastings for the prayer circle.

  • The march directly follows the prayer circle.

  • Women elders carrying medicines are at the front, followed by all women elders and family members and women drummers. The quilt made by loved ones in the DTES community is carried behind the family members and drummers.

  • Everyone is invited to follow. Organizers request people leave organizational banners at home; signs honouring women’s lives are welcome.

  • The march makes a number of stops along the way for ceremonies to honour where women were last seen or found. Only authorized photography is permitted at the ceremonies.

  • At approximately 2 p.m. the march returns to Main and Hastings for speeches by community members.
  • This is followed by a healing circle and drummers at Oppenheimer Park around 3 p.m.

  • The event ends with a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall from 4-5 p.m.

This article originally appeared on Feb. 10, 2022 and has since been updated with more information.