Aylmer Residents Walk to Commemorate National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
A group of Aylmer residents walked to commemorate the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG), May 5. Led by walk organizer Dani Marshall, about 8 adults and one child walked from Chemin Eardley to Vanier on the bike path along highway 148. The National Day of Awareness for MMIWG also known as “Red Dress Day” is dedicated to grieving and remembering all the Indigenous women and girls who experience violence, who go missing and who are murdered in Canada each year. The day also remembers the survivors of residential schools and their families.
The walk began with an offering to the Creator and a few words from Marshall, who explained what commemorating the day meant to her and her family. Marshall explained that the chosen route for the walk was intentional – “I chose a route next to the highway because so many Indigenous women go missing along highways in this country.”
According to an RCMP report released in 2021, at least 1,017 women and girls identified as Indigenous were murdered between 1980 and 2012 – a homicide rate that is roughly 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in Canada. The total number of murder cases is likely to be even higher since the report does not include unexplained and suspicious deaths. This number also does not include women currently experiencing violence.
Participants in the walk expressed how appreciative they were to have the opportunity to bring awareness to this issue through a neighbourhood initiative. Marshall encouraged residents wishing to learn more about this urgent issue to refer to the Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls available online at (https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/). She also recommends visiting Kairos Canada’s Advocacy & Action for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls webpage in order to learn more about practical steps that anyone can take to prevent further violence against Indigenous women and girls. (https://www.kairoscanada.org/missing-murdered-indigenous-women-girls/advocacy-action).
Photo: Walking in commemoration of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women, May 5. Photo: Greg Newing