‘We’re back again. We want justice’: Activists hold MMIW vigil on Parliament Hill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to attend a rally organized today on Parliament Hill to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit individuals.

The vigil on Parliament Hill started at 11 a.m. ET and CBC News is carrying it live.

Organizers held a news conference prior to the start of the vigil. Algonquin Bridget Tolley said she’s been fighting for justice in the case of her mother for 15 years.

“We’re back again,” she said about the Oct. 4 commemoration which has become an annual event across Canada. “We want justice. We don’t want to be here anymore. We shouldn’t have to be here. We shouldn’t have to beg for justice.”

Tolley said that the recent conduct of the Ottawa police, including a social media post by an officer that’s been called racist about the death of Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook, emphasizes the “long, hard journey” activists are on. 

Pootoogook never went near water, and yet her body was found in the Rideau River — proof, activists say, that the police should not be dismissing the possibility of foul play and should take seriously their suspicions.

Native women’s activists have been organizing vigils like this dating back to 2006, expressing frustration Tuesday that nothing has changed.

“I’m tired of government. I’m tired of their words,” said Mohawk Beverley Jacobs, the former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

“I want to see something done for families. Something that they can feel that something is being done and their own justice is being addressed,” she said, adding that justice may be different for different people.

Jacobs and Tolley are among the speakers expected at the vigil. Others include:

  • Laurie Odjick (Algonquin).
  • Connie Greyeyes (Cree).
  • Mag Cywink (Ojibway).
  • Aileen Joseph (Mohawk). 

The event will also include songs and drumming by youth leader Theland Kicknosway (Potawatomi/Cree) with performances by Twin Flames (Inuk/Mohawk Algonquin/Cree/Métis) and a special tribute to  by young Inuit throat singers Tarniriik.

While Trudeau is expected to attend the rally at around noon, he is not expected to speak to the media.

Article source: