Photo - Edward Tsang
February 14, 2012 - UFCW Canada members and activists gathered with other community members for the Fourth Annual Calgary Valentine's Day Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women. The Calgary memorial was one of 12 such events held across Canada to honour and call attention to the 700 or more aboriginal women who have disappeared or been murdered over the past two decades, with the majority of the cases still unsolved.
UFCW Canada has participated in and helped promote the Calgary march every year since its inception. “We’re here to honour our Sisters that are here and our Sisters that are missing, and to call for an end to the violence that women face on a daily basis," said national representative Devin Yeager, who also helped assist the event organizers, and joined with more than 150 others for the march and memorial service.
The first memorial marches were organized in Vancouver in 1991 to call attention to the alarming numbers of women — mostly Aboriginal — who vanished from Vancouver's downtown eastside community and were never heard from again. After British Columbia, Alberta is believed to have the second-highest number of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, with more than 100 cases reported since 2010.
"The rate of violence perpetrated against aboriginal women continues to be unacceptable," said Calgary march organizer Suzanne Dzus. "All we want is for our mothers, and daughters and sisters to be safe. And for those women who may yet be reunited with their loved ones, we send a message that we love you and miss you."