The marginalization and abuse suffered by Canada’s Aboriginal women will be in the spotlight this week.
Kelowna’s 7th Annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls and Two-Spirit Memorial Vigil will take place on at 5 p.m., Feb. 14. Participants will gather at the courthouse for a march that ends at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, where speeches and a community dinner will commence.
Participants are encouraged to “wear red, bring drums.”
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The vigil is open to all members of the community who would like to honour the memory of Indigenous women who have died as a result of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence.
According to the RCMP’s 2015 updated report Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview, 1,017 Indigenous women have been murdered over the past 30 years.
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There are 174 Indigenous women who were missing, and 111 of those cases were under suspicious circumstances yet remain unsolved. Statistics Canada reported in 2011 that rates of violence against Indigenous women is three times higher than for non-Indigenous women, and seven times higher for homicide rates. The RCMP states these databases are incomplete and need more regular updating.