'We deserve the right to feel safe': Dozens march in Abbotsford for missing, murdered Indigenous women
VANCOUVER -- Dozens gathered around Mill Lake in Abbotsford on Saturday to draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada.
“We’re here to raise awareness to this and let people know that we deserve the right to feel safe,” said event organizer Krista MacInnis. “We deserve the right to know that if one of us goes missing, someone will go looking for us.”
The march was sparked by the murder of First Nations woman Jana Williams. The 28 year-old’s body was found on March 4 near Manitoba’s Red River, her family says she was six months pregnant
MacInnis is a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights. Last year, she took to social media to highlight a piece of homework her 11 year-old daughter had been given. The task was to write “five positive things about residential schools.”
The Abbotsford school district launched an investigation and MacInnis was offered an apology, but she says it was an example of systemic racism.
“These are the issues that keep arising again and again and again and we keep meeting it and we keep bringing awareness to it and we keep getting an apology and we keep getting it swept under the rug,” she said on Saturday.
All those who gathered for the event wore masks and organizers urged people to maintain physical distancing. The march was peaceful and no police officers were present.