March for MMIW goes on despite frigid weather

Despite the stinging cold, the annual Valentine's Day march in honour of murdered and missing aboriginal women is taking place in Montreal today.

7th annual march brings attention to murdered and missing indigenous women

A woman holds up a sign as she participates in the 7th annual memorial march in Montreal to raise awareness for the hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Despite the stinging cold, the annual Valentine's Day march in honour of murdered and missing women took place in Montreal Sunday afternoon.

However, the weather did take its toll and cut the march short. The plan was to walk on St-Laurent Boulevard from St-Laurent Metro station to Rachel Street, but marchers stopped just south of Sherbrooke Street.

People hold up signs as they participate in the 7th annual memorial march. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)
The march, in its seventh year, aims to draw attention to violence suffered by women in Canada. Although the march honours women of all backgrounds, organizers say special attention is given to indigenous women, "who are the disproportionate targets of this systemic violence," the Facebook event by Centre for Gender Advocacy says.

This year, the march route was lined with red clothing, a nod to the REDress photography project — an art installation that honoured the missing and murdered aboriginal women of Canada.

Former Native Women of Quebec president Michèle Audette and Québec solidaire MNA Manon Massé were in attendance.

Two days before the march, Massé called on the provincial government to do more to prevent this kind of violence. She said services for aboriginal peoples outside of reserves is the province's responsibility, and that many incidents of violence happen in cities.

About half of native people in Quebec live in urban settings.

With files from La Presse Canadienne