About 60 people in Castlegar took part in a march honouring missing or murdered aboriginal women, on a day devoted to love.
The Valentine’s Day demonstration was done in a very public way, with the marchers walking down Columbia Avenue in mid-afternoon, blocking vehicle traffic northbound for about 15 minutes.
“We can see the failure of the RCMP to respond to the epidemic of missing and murdered aboriginal women, two-spirited people and girls in so-called Canada,” said Ali Christie from the Castlegar Womens’ Centre, acknowledging the event was taking place on Sinixt territory. “We can see the colonial government can send the RCMP in to continue perpetuating the colonial violence towards indigenous people and women, and their lack of response to solving the many thousands of cases of missing and murdered women across this country.”
Christie said the participants were calling for justice for the lives lost to the violence against aboriginal people.
“Due to that lack of response, it’s appropriate to be here today in ceremony to call attention and call accountability to the RCMP to have a better response and step up, and for all of us to make a commitment to what that justice should look like,” she added.
“Because we can’t trust the colonial government or police force to do that.”
The participants tied red ribbons and red dresses to trees, sculptures and the RCMP signage, took part in a smudge ceremony and lit candles in memory of the victims of violence.